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Economic diversification means investment in country's survival - Head of State

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 09:47 - Updated Mon, 27 Nov 2017 09:47

João Lourenço (centre) flanked by the first lady (l) and the ambassador to S. Africa

Photo: Pedro Parente

Pretoria - The Angolan Head of State, João Lourenço said last Saturday in Pretoria, South Africa, that the materialisation of the economic diversification plan in Angola is the path to follow, if the country really wants to survive.

President João Lourenço said so at a meeting with members of the Angolan community residing in South Africa, which was his last activity in that country as part of his two-day official visit to that southern African country.  

He defended a real investment in the economic diversification process, deeming this a basis for the re-launch of the national economy, which since the second semester of the year 2014 has experienced an economic and financial crisis chiefly caused by the steep fall of the crude oil price in the international market.

“The golden age of crude oil, with the prices going over USD 100 per barrel, is now gone. The perspective is that it might not come back so soon or ever”, stressed the Angolan President.

He went on to say that the diversification strategy entails the need to develop the national private entrepreneurial sector and attract foreign private investment.  

He said the idea is to create conditions so that private South African investment can be well applied in Angola and vice versa.  

“We should not be afraid of those that are more developed than us. And shouldn’t be ashamed because we are not so developed either”, encouraged the Angolan President.

Meanwhile, last Friday in Pretoria, at the Angola/South Africa Business Forum, João Lourenço said that in this process of accelerating growth and economic diversification it is very important to attract foreign investors and, thereby, gain access to technology, know-how and markets across borders.

To him, Angola needs private investment from other countries, to produce what it currently imports and also to promote exports of other products, other than crude oil.

Joao Lourenço said that the country has a law that is considered attractive and establishes general bases of private investment and creates incentives and other facilities.

After the respective speeches in the forum, five agreements were signed, namely the Memorandum of Understanding for the Creation of the Bilateral Joint Commission, Protocol on Environment, Suppression of Visa on Ordinary Passports, Memorandum of Understanding on Police Cooperation, and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters.

The President ended the two-day state visit to South Africa on Saturday, with the placing of wreath on the tombs of Heroes and late nationalist Oliver Tambo.

On the occasion, João Lourenço – who was accompanied by his wife, Ana Dias Lourenço - expressed his deep respect for all South African heroes who perished for the cause of freedom, fighting against the oppressive regime of Apartheid.

This is the first state visit of President João Lourenço since he was sworn in last 26 September.

South Africa is Angola’s main economic partner in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

In the year 2016, the trade between the two countries dropped to 2.4 billion US dollars, which corresponds to a reduction of 75 per cent, a situation that is justified by the economic and financial crisis that hit Angola.