Thursday, Apr 18, 2024
logo
Update At 14:00    USD/EUR 0,94  ↓-0.0004        USD/JPY 154,29  ↓-0.027        USD/KRW 1.373,86  ↓-4.56        EUR/JPY 164,75  ↑+0.092        Crude Oil 87,46  ↑+0.17        Asia Dow 3.661,24  ↓-16.69        TSE 1.814,00  ↑+0.5        Japan: Nikkei 225 38.101,32  ↑+139.52        S. Korea: KOSPI 2.631,07  ↑+46.89        China: Shanghai Composite 3.088,33  ↑+16.9446        Hong Kong: Hang Seng 16.469,29  ↑+217.45        Singapore: Straits Times 3,22  ↑+0.038        DJIA 22,20  ↓-0.04        Nasdaq Composite 15.683,37  ↓-181.879        S&P 500 5.022,21  ↓-29.2        Russell 2000 1.947,95  ↓-19.5288        Stoxx Euro 50 4.914,13  ↓-2.86        Stoxx Europe 600 498,52  ↑+0.31        Germany: DAX 17.770,02  ↑+3.79        UK: FTSE 100 7.847,99  ↑+27.63        Spain: IBEX 35 10.633,90  ↑+107        France: CAC 40 7.981,51  ↑+48.9        

UK businesses to ‘knock on open door’

Article - November 3, 2011
The past three years have seen UK-Angolan relations grow stronger, with more visits by British officials and greater investment in non-oil sectors
HENRY BELLINGHAM, FCO MINISTER FOR AFRICA
Two-way partnerships are on the rise between the UK and Angola, as bilateral trade increases and the UK continues to assist the republic in its pursuit of good governance, democracy, human rights and development.

An official trip by former Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN Lord Mark Malloch-Brown in July 2009 was the first British ministerial visit to Angola since 2003 and heralded a new era of revitalised relations between the two countries.
‘INVESTORS EXPECT INFRASTRUCTURE THAT ENABLES THEM TO MAKE INVESTMENTS. THIS IS THE MAJOR INCENTIVE, RATHER THAN THE CUSTOMS OR EVEN FINANCIAL INCENTIVES’

CARLOS FEIJO, Minister of State and Head of the President’s Civil Office

‘NO COUNTRY, HOWEVER RICH IT IS, DEVELOPS ON ITS OWN; IT IS ALWAYS DONE WITH THE SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATION OF FOREIGN INVESTMENT’

ALBINA FARIA DE ASSIS PEREIRA AFRICANO, Special Advisor to the President for Regional Affairs

‘I VISITED ANGOLA LAST DECEMBER AND WAS INCREDIBLY IMPRESSED WITH THE MANY OPPORTUNITIES THAT EXIST FOR UK BUSINESS, PARTICULARLY IN VOCATIONAL SKILLS, ENERGY, INFRASTRUCTURE AND EDUCATION SECTORS’


HENRY BELLINGHAM, FCO Minister for Africa

Nick Baird, the director general of Europe and globalisation at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO, or Foreign Office), visited Angola in November 2010 to explore strengthening partnerships with the southern African country, in line with the Coalition Government’s desire to remove obstacles and encourage greater interaction between the UK and Africa. Mr Baird, who has also worked as the UK Ambassador to Turkey and has experience in working with emerging markets, was recently announced as the new chief executive of UKTI (UK Trade and Industry). His appointment includes overseeing UKTI’s new five-year strategy, Britain Open for Business, which reflects the trade promotion organisation’s shift to a more entrepreneurial approach to delivering growth. Its greater focus on spurring bilateral trade and investment will see it actively seek out overseas investors, help UK companies expand into overseas markets, such as in Angola, and work more closely with key British companies.

Another high-profile visit followed in December 2010 when FCO Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham arrived in Luanda, during which he relaunched the British Business Group Angola (BBGA). The Minister and his colleagues noted that opportunities for investment in Angola are considerable and there is a “huge amount of goodwill towards the UK and an appetite for our style of business.”

Moreover, Mr Bellingham remarked on how Angola is diversifying its markets and international partners. The Minister also commented that the UK Government “is committed to strengthening bilateral trade relations with Angola and to ensuring that we have the right foundations that enable sustainable growth and development.”

Previously foreign investment was the preserve of Brazil and Portugal. Today, however, the Angolan Government is clearly exhibiting “a willingness to share opportunities around” and reports suggest Angolans have been impressed with the efficiency and entrepreneurial drive that UK businesses can offer. The presence of GSK, Diageo, Rolls-Royce, SWIRE OS, Lonhro, Standard Chartered, BP and Investec demonstrates there is interest and potential for British business in Angola.

Building on the visit by Mr Bellingham, on February 9 UKTI and FCO held a business briefing for UK companies and stakeholders outlining both the opportunities and challenges for British business in Angola.

At the forum Mr Bellingham encouraged UK businesses to “knock on an open door” as Angola seeks to diversify its economy. He also urged British companies already in Angola to advise and support new entrants to the republic.

During the UKTI/FCO forum, head of UKTI in Angola Karen Neal highlighted the goodwill of the Angolan Government and business community. She commented that Angolans had been known to regard British companies as being too timid when trying to enter the Angolan market. So her advice to businesses was to “be bold, be prepared and be tenacious” and to take a long-term view of the market, as it holds significant potential.

Angola is the fastest growing market in sub-Saharan Africa and the 10th largest import market on the continent. It is also the UK’s third largest African market for visible exports. UK exports rose by 69 per cent in the first nine months of 2010 alone. Top exports from the UK to Angola include general and specialised industrial machinery and equipment; iron and steel; manufactured metal goods; and professional, scientific and control instruments.

Although the oil sector continues to attract the majority of British interest, the past few years have seen growth in the non-oil sectors average 11 per cent annually. Bilateral trade is approaching the £2 billion mark, with increasing activity in areas such as education (including vocational skills and language training), agriculture, financial services, construction, power and water.

The UK’s Ambassador to Angola Richard Wildash offers two examples of how the UK is currently supporting the republic’s economic diversification efforts beyond its petroleum and mining sectors: “The Lord Mayor of the City of London will be visiting Angola at the end of August with a high-powered delegation of representatives of leading City organisations. The objective is to define the scope for supporting the development of Angola’s financial services sector. The City’s unique offering is its technical expertise and breadth of experience. There is a unique opportunity to help design Angola’s financial services architecture. The economy is in a neo-natal phase, poised to benefit from the most up-to-date, cutting-edge financial systems. The City is the best source of advice.

“Meanwhile, we have commissioned work, now close to completion, to examine ways in which British providers can kick-start the provision of English language and vocational training in Angola. We have consulted the Government and the private sector about this: there is a clear and urgent need for capacity building and we are convinced that British institutions and companies – perhaps in partnership – can meet this.”

Construction activity is set to rise by the push to expand access to education. UNICEF estimates that 9,000 schools will need to be built in the next five years to meet demand. Furthermore, following three decades of civil war, the nation’s infrastructure is in need of attention and £3.1 billion has been pledged to rebuild roads, rail networks, social housing and hospitals.

Over the years British aid to Angola, which peaked at £13.5 million from 1993 to 1994, has reduced as the republic has become a lower-middle-income country. However, the UK still financially supports UNICEF efforts, and UK-based NGOs, such as Amnesty International, One World Action, CAFOD, Save the Children Fund, and Oxfam GB, among others, are still active in humanitarian and development initiatives.

  0 COMMENTS