——专访安哥拉贸易部长若弗雷·范杜嫩（Joffre Van-Dunem Junior）
文｜张梅 本刊记者 翻译｜周佳
Committed to Reversing a Uniform Development Pattern
——Interview with Joffre Van-Dunem Junior, Angola’s Minister of Commerce
By Zhang Mei China Investment
“Our trade development plan for 2018-2022 has four macro goals and 14 specific projects, which among others include the macroeconomic stabilization, boosting of the private sector, the modernization of the logistics chain, fostering the national production and ensuring quality products for the consumers. ”On 7th November, while attending the 2nd China International Import Expo, Joffre Van-Dunem Junior, Angola’s Minister of Commerce, gave an exclusive interview to China Investment Magazine. He said, While getting investment funds in crisis scenario is harder, we believe that trade can and should be an important engine of our economy and we are working prudently and constantly to ensure that our economy remains stable as well in order to achieve our goals on macroeconomic program.
China Investment: Status of Trade Development in Angola.What are the Key Areas?What are the Challenges?
Joffre Van-Dunem Junior: Trade is one of the main economic drivers of the economy of the Republic of Angola, and in recent years it has been one of the main job creators.
We are currently in a process of transforming and modernizing our economy taking into account the need of its diversification in order to make it sustainable and with greater involvement of the private sector.
The two main areas of intervention are Internal Trade and Foreign Trade.
In both, and in line with the Government policies, we are focused on legislation, regulation and supervision to ensure its harmonious development and to meet the rising expectations of the Angolan consumers.
In Domestic Trade, we’ve launched a Rural Trade Development Project, whose main goal is to improve the rural producer's logistics chain and to ensure a regular supply to the major consumption centers.
The biggest challenge we face in the Trade Sector is to reduce the informality of the economy to increase the efficiency of the logistics and storage chain and to facilitate the rural trade with technological incorporation, as well as to organize the trading chain and transportation infrastructures between the producing zones in rural regions and commercialization centers in urban areas.
In this regard, we have been putting in place structural and legal tools to ensure that the private sector takes the lead in economic development while the government safeguards, gives its supports and incentives to those engaged in doing business and creating jobs in Angola.
It may take some time to overcome these challenges but we are seriously committed in diversifying our production of goods and services to reverse the current economic condition of an oil exporting and food importing country in the coming years.
Angola has the agricultural potential to be self-sufficient in food products and investors can seize this advantage to produce there, supply the domestic market and export to other countries.
China Investment:What is the trade development plan of the Angolan government? What development goals are you going to achieve? What are the new trade policies?
Joffre Van-Dunem Junior:Our trade development plan for 2018-2022 has four macro goals and 14 specific projects, which among others include the macroeconomic stabilization, boosting of the private sector, the modernization of the logistics chain, fostering the national production and ensuring quality products for the consumers.
Our main goal is not only to attract investment to strengthen the private sector and create a sustainable economic environment but also to harmonize the Angolan economy with that of the other African countries and make the market easily accessible to worldwide investors.
Angola has in place many newly adopted policies meant to boost the private business activities and to facilitate trade in the country, and among them is the new Private Investment Law, the new Competition Law, the decentralization of Commercial Permits, the creation of the “Single Window For External Trade”, the implementation of the “Asycuda World” system.
To add to what I’ve said above, the government led by President João Lourenço has declared zero tolerance to corruption and bribery as part of our commitment in this process of encouraging domestic and foreign private investors to join the efforts of diversifying the economy and making the country productive and less dependent on crude oil.
China Investment:What is the impact of the current complicated and ever-changing international trade situation on Angola's economic and trade relations? How will the government respond?
Joffre Van-Dunem Junior:Angola still dependents on petroleum exports and because of this fact our economy is exposed to any crisis that could bring down the crude oil price. At the time the global financial crisis happened Angola was in the process of growing its economy and rebuilding its vital infrastructures, which had to be interrupted because, in addition to the global financial crisis we still face the world’s economic uncertainty which prevents the flow of funds to developing economies like ours.
Angola needs to attract a large flow of investment to diversify the economy and boost its national production, at the same time it has to increase the spending in health, education and new infrastructures.
While getting investment funds in crisis scenario is harder, we believe that trade can and should be an important engine of our economy and we are working prudently and constantly to ensure that our economy remains stable as well in order to achieve our goals on macroeconomic program.
In short, the crisis and the uncertainty in world markets directly impacted our economic matrix, and it compelled us to lay the required foundations to diversifying our national economy.
As I said earlier, the crisis has created serious difficulties, but the Angolan Government is very clear about its major challenges, which have more to do with structural issues.
Therefore, I believe that if we continue to focus on the path of the reforms we are pursuing, we will be ensuring the potential that Angola has to overcome the crisis, create a sustainable economy, create jobs and improve people's lives.
I can point out some instruments that are already being implemented with positive results:
The implementation of the macroeconomic stabilization program started in January 2018 allowed a positive fiscal balance of GDP of 2.2% and in the first half of 2019 was also positive by about 1.3%.
In the last 12 months, the inflation rate was 17.25%, which is 1.36% lower than in the same period of 2018 (18.6%).
In addition I can also add that measures have been taken to attract private investment and promote national investment such as the privatization of 195 state owned enterprises, which among others include commercial banks, textile factories, commercial farms, logistics and road transportation, mining and telecommunications.
China Investment:Angola's trade and investment cooperation with China. In what areas does the Angolan government want to trade with China? Attracting Chinese investment?
Joffre Van-Dunem Junior:"Angola has great appreciation for the constructive role China plays as a factor of peace and stability at the international level and for the role on promoting progress and development of other nations worldwide." This statement above from President João Lourenço, expresses the heartfelt feeling on Angola-China cooperation.
China has been our main trading and investment partner for over a decade and I believe that China should be a source of inspiration for deep economic and social reforms in developing countries.
In terms of trade and investment, Angola is a market open to investments in all sectors, and the country has the advantage of the geographical location with connectivity to other markets in Africa by sea, rail and road.
The Angolan Government has a National Plan to Support Production and Export Promotion (PRODESI) which establishes 54 strategic products for the Angolan economy for both domestic consumption and potential export.
I believe the main areas of investment for business with China should be agriculture, agribusiness, textiles, mining, education, health and infrastructures. Meanwhile, Chinese investors have the opportunity to invest in Angola in all sectors, but the priorities for the country's macroeconomic development are the industrial clusters, logistic hubs, farming and agricultural manufacturing, mining and infrastructures, and taking always into consideration the logic of medium and long term mutual benefits.
China Investment: In the economic development plan of the Angolan government, what role do Chinese enterprises hope to play?
Joffre Van-Dunem Junior:As I said before, Angola offers great opportunities, with many mineral resources, strong growth potential of non-oil sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism and construction.
We have a young population. We have a stable institutional framework and a government committed to the reforms of a thriving and competitive business environment.
In order to attract investment, specifically from China, we need to identify who are the investors in order to understand their needs and the areas they are interested in.
The government has taken tangible steps to make it clear to the Chinese business community that the foundations for transparency, fair competition and legal protection to make safe investments in Angola are in place.
⬆Informal market luanda
China Investment: What are the expectations of the Angolan government in the future trade and investment cooperation between the two countries?
Joffre Van-Dunem Junior:China has funded significant infrastructure projects in Angola in the last decade and now we want to see the focus of funding shift to Chinese direct investment to other sectors too.
We look forward to receiving investments that transfer technology and know-how to improve our processes and create jobs for our young people.
Therefore, the generation of quality employment, added value to locally produced goods and local wealth creation are among the expectations we wish to see fulfilled with the contribution of Chinese investors and entrepreneurs.
So, I hope that Chinese entrepreneurs can invest and do big business in Angola at win-win model and turn our country into a platform for Chinese investment in Africa.
编辑 | 张梅