Saiia calls for more trade with Angola

Posted On Wednesday, 07 January 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Saiia has called on both the government and business to do more to increase two-way trade with opportunity-rich Angola

/Cape Town - The South African Institute of International Affairs Saiia has called on both the government and business to do more to increase two-way trade with opportunity-rich Angola and help stabilise the regional economy.

In its latest newsletter, Saiia researchers Nomazulu Mda and Gina van Schalkwyk admitted that conditions in Angola could sometimes be difficult for South African companies, but opportunities abounded and the departments of foreign affairs and trade and industry could be doing more to liaise with their Angolan counterparts to remove obstacles to trade.

They said bilateral trade between Luanda and Pretoria had more than doubled between 2000 and 2002. This was encouraging, despite the fact that "trade is still skewed in Pretoria's favour".

South Africa's share of the trade, which totalled R3.5 billion in 2002, dwarfed that of Angola, which in the same year was just over R900 million.

While South Africa bought vehicle and aircraft equipment from Angola, it supplied the country with a wide range of consumer and primary goods, including prepared foodstuffs, mineral products, machinery and mechanical equipment. 

"Many companies have also taken advantage of the end of the war [in Angola] and the return of stability," Saiia said.

Construction giant Group Five was currently running the three-year, $100 million Nova Vida project, which started in October 2000. Other construction firms that were active in Angola included Grinaker, Murray & Roberts and Basil Read.

"In the mining sector, diamond giant De Beers, which has been locked in dispute with the state-owned Angolan mining company Endiama, is having a hard time negotiating a return to the country," it said.

"In the retail sector, the Shoprite group opened its first store in Luanda on August 27 2003 and expects to have two more stores running by June this year 2004. South African fast-food outlets, Steers and Debonairs, also announced the opening of their stores in Angola in December 2003."

The constraints facing South African companies included the fact that the Angolan government gave preference to Portuguese and Brazilian companies in the construction sector, Saiia said.

They had also found the environment in Angola more difficult than in other Southern African Development Community states, "where they face little or no competition. In Angola, they are confronted with established Portuguese, Brazilian, Lebanese and Israeli players."


Last modified on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 17:31

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