Why should South African companies in the tourism and agriculture sectors be interested in venturing across our borders and attend the Angola-South Africa Agri-Business And Eco-Tourism Forum in Cape Town next month?:
CAPE TOWN — There is a tremendous, almost tangible, excitement around the upcoming Angola-South Africa Agri-Business And Eco-Tourism Forum, held in conjunction with the CACIAAS Angola South Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACIAAS) and the Angola Private Investment Agency and Promotion of Exports (AIPEX, an agency for private investment) at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) on 26 and 27 September 2019, prompting the question: “Why focus on the agriculture and tourism sectors?”
According to Dr Lello Francisco, an AIPEX Board Member, the answer to this question is quite simple. He says: “Both South Africa and Angola are currently placing huge emphasis on these two sectors and collaboration between these two countries can be mutually beneficial. The same, in fact, applies for the other countries in the SADC region.”
“The focus on agriculture and tourism was a natural choice as it speaks of the diversification of the Angolan economy as these two sectors play an important role in developing much needed infrastructure and in reducing imports into Angola. Angolan imports on food alone are almost US$ 1.5 billion per year. Thus, with local production we will be able to reduce that figure considerably. We foresee local production activities creating numerous employment opportunities.”
“When one analyses the Angolan agriculture industry, one realises that it has huge potential. There is so much more that still needs to be done. Consider this fact: Angola has more than 50 million hectares available for agricultural development, including 35 million hectares of arable land. Of the available arable land, approximately 15% is currently cultivated and 20% is suitable for irrigation. That is a lot of development waiting to happen! In terms of agriculture, we are not only looking at actual farming. In the bigger scheme of things, this provides opportunities in production (factories), logistics and trade in general — so there is a huge value chain that we intend to develop,” says Dr Francisco.
Furthermore, when it comes to job creation, he intimates: “the new Angolan government has identified agriculture as one of the main sectors to be further developed and to be diversified in order to change the spectrum left behind by the previous Leadership.” “And,” he elaborates, “it is not just about Angola becoming self-sustainable, it is about the African continent looking after itself. In terms of market potential, Angola brings to the party its 29.3 million citizens and a GDP of US$ 3 484.60 per capita.”
“If Southern African nations start to produce more food and other products, we can trade more among ourselves and will not need to import that much from countries such as South America and the USA. In fact, the entire Southern Africa region will stand to directly gain from investing in Angola,” Dr Francisco declares.
When it comes to tourism, Angola, a country with natural beauty similar to that of South Africa, offers a wealth of opportunities for investors as the sector has not been developed due to a civil war that raged for decades. AIPEX is ready to support and assist South African businesses who want to extend their tourism related businesses into Angola. This invitation is, in fact, open to all other African nations. The fact that South Africans travelling to Angola no longer need visas to enter the country has already eased the burden of doing business across borders. The same applies for citizens from, among others, Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, the Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
According to Dr Francisco, AIPEX has a very definite objective. Its main goal is to diversify the Angolan economy by improving the ease of doing business in and facilitating the investment process into Angola.
Companies interested in investing in Angola will be pleased to learn that there is no minimum Capital Investment amount required in order to register a private investment project in Angola — and there is no obligation of capital stock sharing of 35% with local companies. AIPEX sees this as a win-win situation for both countries. Dr. Francisco emphasises the fact that he cannot stress the importance of the Angola-South Africa Agri-Business And Eco-Tourism Forum enough — especially the critical role that it will play in setting alight a new business revolution that will potentially benefit the entire southern African region.
“AIPEX fully supports this conference as we believe that it will build a bridge and create a gateway for South African investors into the agriculture and tourism sectors of Angola. Therefore we are bringing key Angolan business people and government delegates to the conference to network with their South African counterparts and to possibly strike partnerships for future development in tourism and agriculture. Our offering and services include completion of the private investor project registration process, as well as provision of support services during the initial, the implementation and operational phases of the project. Companies investing in Angola can rest assured that they will not be alone — they can count on AIPEX for support from the start to the end,” Dr. Francisco concludes.
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