As trade and investment partners, South Africa and Angola should pursue further partnerships that will aid in skills transfer, says Angolan Minister of Commerce, Dr Joffre Van-Dunem Junior.
“Angola recognises South Africa as a trade and investment partner. The relationship between the two countries is a strategic one.
“We have to dig deeper to expand our cooperation in order to ensure that the relationship with our business partners translates into a productive partnership that will enable the participation of small, micro and medium enterprises and the transfer of specialised skills and technology,” said Van-Dunem Junior.
Van-Dunem Junior said this while addressing about 200 businesspeople at the Trade and Investment Seminar hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in Luanda on Tuesday.
The seminar was part of the week-long Outward Trade and Investment Mission (OTIM) to Angola that started on Monday.
The Minister said the south-central African country provides a trade and investment destination for South African companies keen on investing and doing business.
Van-Dunem Junior said it was pleasing to see two countries of different cultures meeting to pursue the same objective, which is to generate business opportunities and reconnect common strategies for the challenges faced by both countries.
He said despite Angola undergoing reforms to diversify its economy, there remains a wealth of major business opportunities in oil and gas, mining in general but diamond mining and beneficiation in particular.
In addition, there is strong growth in the non-oil sectors such as agriculture, construction and tourism, which South African business investors can pursue.
Van-Dunem Junior said the Angolan government is committed to reforms that will enhance the competitiveness of the business environment.
“I therefore invite South African businesspeople to invest in the country because this is a vehicle which can cement our relationship and create a win-win situation for both countries.
“I would like to reiterate the commitment by our Ministry of Trade to nurturing mutual trust and generating credible actions, which will result in the improvement of business relations between the State and investors,” said the Minister.
The South African Ambassador to Angola, Fanie Phakola, described the trade and investment seminar as a positive indication of strengthening economic ties between the two countries.
He said Angola and South Africa enjoy fraternal bilateral relations, which need to be cemented by business-to-business engagements for the mutual benefit of both countries.
“It is only you as businesspeople who can make it happen. The political leadership of our respective nations expects you to do more in this regard. Government will stand ready to provide support where necessary. However, I am fully confident that businesspeople should be able to thrive and flourish on their own, as the conditions for doing business in Angola have tremendously improved, especially over the past two years,” said Phakola.
The mission to Angola, which will conclude on Friday, is organised and funded by the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme.
The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.