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‘We want to introduce the latest technology’

Article - September 21, 2011
Knowledge sharing and up-to-date training with overseas partners are ongoing at Multiterminais and Multiparques
Leonel da Rocha Pinto, general manager of Multiterminais and Multiparques, discusses the international outlooks of the two companies, job creation and the need to leverage technological advances.

What international influence is inherent in the companies?

Multiparques has NDS from Holland as one of its partners. International companies bring know-how and people with expertise to us, who teach our employees and expand our resources.

How difficult is it to find qualified people, and what training do you provide?

Our main challenge is to make sure that within five years 99% of the company is made up of Angolans. To achieve this, we are making huge investments in training people overseas. Every now and then we receive experts from abroad to train our employees and to provide them with the most up-to-date programs. I am delighted with the results, because people have taken full advantage of the trainers’ expertise.

In addition, we go to universities looking for the best students. New recruits go through an upgrade program because we recognize that even though they are coming from universities they generally have gaps and weaknesses in many areas. Therefore, the presence of expatriates who come and teach our people is very important. This is an ongoing process and I am very pleased with this policy.

What could be the role of the U.S. and its companies in this process? How can they help?

The U.S. is very good at logistics. I have been to Baltimore and New York, and I have actually seen how the ports work and how the relevant logistics are applied. From U.S. companies, for example, we could gain from partnerships due to their experience in terms of logistical flow. While today we are still doing shipment cargos by hand, for instance, in America they do everything sitting from a chair in the office without having to physically go down to the harbor. The harbormaster automatically receives all the necessary documentation from onboard the ship without being physically there. They take full advantage of communication technology. I think that several human errors could be avoided by using technology.

Likewise, I have been to Hong Kong and seen its modern terminal, which also has very good port technology. In fact I invited them to come and share their knowledge with us because we want to introduce the latest technology in our systems too.

Apart from imports and transportation, are you looking at any other areas to diversify the company’s activities?

For now we are dealing with the entire logistic system. However, we are also thinking about building car-parking facilities, as parking is a big problem in Luanda, with help from the Ministry of Interior. I would say that we are the solution; people just have to present us their problems and we provide the solution.

We also want to keep on building dry ports in cities that are close to our railway line since nowadays transporting the cargo by road has become very expensive. This is actually our big project, and this is how we see it. We are sharing our vision with the government and we have their support.