Angola ‘a strategic partner for SA’

12 January 2011

Angola, endowed with rich resources including oil, diamonds and other minerals, is a strategic partner with enormous economic potential, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies told a South Africa-Angola business forum in Pretoria.

Davies told delegates at the forum, which took place in December, that the infrastructure construction programme currently going on in Angola offered numberous opportunity in areas including housing, rail, road, and port infrastructure.

Furthermore, the governments of the two countries had given full backing to the South Africa Angola Housing Initiative that is aimed at the reconstruction of central and eastern Angola.

“Angola is our 10th largest supplier of imports into South Africa, and is the only country in Africa which is in the top 10,” Davies said. “The total value of imports in South Africa in 2009 was R11.7-billion, and [in 2010] up to August the total was R11.1-billion.”

He added that South Africa was involved, together with Angola and Namibia, in initial work on the Trans Kunene Corridor and the envisaged Namibe-Malanje and Cubango corridors.

“We think that this developmental corridor could improve the transport logistics between the two countries by providing rail and road network to complement the existing network and could contribute to the promotion of investment activities,” he said.

Strengthening financial cooperation

Davies added that the Declaration of Intent on Financial Cooperation that was signed by President Jacob Zuma and his Angolan counterpart in December would enhance trade relations between the two countries.

“This means that three of South African institutions namely, Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Industrial Development Corporation, and Export Credit Insurance Corporation, which are involved in the provision of financial resources, will increase their efforts to make more financial resources available to support the growing partnership between the two countries.”

In particular, the Development Bank of South Africa and Banco Africano de Investimentos, Angola’s largest commercial bank, recently reached agreement on a historic credit line of R1.75-billion.

“The two financial institutions expect to conclude the loan agreement in the coming months,” said the Department of Trade and Industry after the agreement was reached. “The two countries further committed to the establishment of a formal business structure to discuss areas of mutual interest on trade and investment.

“In this regard sectors that have been identified include; mining, tourism, infrastructure, energy, as well as finance.”

SAinfo reporter

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