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The one-stop shop

Article - January 5, 2012
GUE simplifies procedures for investors and businesses in Angola, and has proven to be invaluable to the country’s economy
Almost a decade has passed since the end of the Angolan civil war and the South-West African nation is in an economically and politically stable state with an estimated growth of almost 8 per cent per annum. Shortly after the end of the conflict, a new government initiative was implemented – Guiche Unico de Empresa (GUE) which has since been making it easier for international investors with new businesses or partnerships to begin trading on the Angolan market without unnecessary delays.

Director of GUE Isabel Dos Santos looks back on the first few years of the government-sponsored agency, telling us that “after the conquest of peace, we started reaching a political and economic stability that together led to an improvement of the overall national economy.” This newly found economic stability was partly thanks to GUE as they cut down on the excessive regulation and red-tape that went along with beginning a new business in Angola.

“We are in an exciting developing stage, with an economy increasingly stable, diversified and less vulnerable.”
In August 2003 the Angolan government established the GUE, as a one-stop shop, to simplify the process and reduce the time required to register a company by unifying procedures required by various government ministries under one roof. By 2005 the government agency was processing and issuing over 320 new business licences a year and drastically reducing the waiting times for potential investors. By 2006 a GUE website was established, permitting online applications from new businesses.

Unsurprisingly, given the language spoken in Angola, the website attracted many investors from Brazil and Portugal. However, Angola represents an economy still untapped by a vast number of international businesses. Ms Dos Santos thinks some foreign investors may still be unnecessarily sceptical because of to Angola’s past: “Investors can trust and they can invest here because we are talking about a politically stable country without war. We are in an exciting developing stage, with an economy increasingly stable, diversified and less vulnerable.”

By concentrating all of its services in a single physical space, GUE achieves the reduction of bureaucracy and a streamline process, thus promoting the economic development of the country and offering a simple and appealing licensing solution for potential investors.