By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik
Chairman Antonio Henriques da Silva of the Agency for Private Investment and Exports Promotion of the Republic of Angola said, “The Republic of Korea has a robust industrial sector such as textile, steel, car manufacturing, shipbuilding and electronics.”
Speaking at a recent interview with The Korea Post at the Embassy of Angola in Seoul in the presence of the Ambassador Edgar Gaspar Martins, Chairman Silva added, “Angola is a growing hub in the subregion, and establishing industries in Angola serves as a preferred gateway to southern Africa with the competitive advantage such as geographic location for trade, travel and tourism, access to 1.2 billion customers via African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) 75% of the population being under the age of 25 years old, which means there is available a good measure of work force in the country.”
Chairman Silva then added that South Korea has a huge impact in the sectors mentioned in Africa and setting up manufacturing companies close to its customers serves as a great advantage.
Details of the interview follow:
Question: As the Chairman of the Agency for Private Investment and Export Promotion of the Republic of Angola, please introduce the activities of the organization.
Answer: AIPEX’s establishment has gone hand-in-hand with a wide-ranging legal review which has led to the passing of a new priority investment law, which is much more investor-friendly than previous legislation, and aligned with AIPEX’s and the nation’s economic priorities. AIPEX core businesses includes:
--Register and monitor the implementation of private investment proposals
--Coordinate institutional support for investors
--Promote the increase and diversification of the country's exports of goods and services
--Implement policies and programmes for import substitution and growth of export
--Ensure the development of the competitiveness of national companies, as well as their internationalization into foreign markets
Q: What is the present volume of bilateral trade between the two countries and what is its outlook for the next 12 months?
A: In 2020, Angola exported US$133M to South Korea: Petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons ($115M), (Petroleum oils and oils from bituminous minerals, not crude; preparations containing by weight 70% or more of petroleum oils or oils from bituminous minerals; these being the basic constituents of the preparations; waste oil and copper ($13,3M), and waste and scrap ($3,45M).
During the last 25 years the exports of Angola to South Korea have increased at an annual rate of 1.2%, from US$98.7M in 1995 to US$133M in 2020.
In 2020, South Korea exported US$80.2M to Angola:
Diodes, transistors, similar semiconductor devices ($25M), including photovoltaic cells assembled or not in modules or panels, light-emitting diodes (LED), mounted piezo-electric crystals, waste oil ($12.5M) and polymers of propylene or of other olefins, in primary forms ($12.3M).
During the last 25 years, exports of South Korea to Angola have increased at an annual rate of 3.9% from US$30.8M in 1995 to US$80.2M in 2020.
Source: Angola (AGO) and South Korea (KOR) Trade OEC - The Observatory of Economic Complexity.
Since 1995, there have been 27 private investment projects registered from South Korea with a total value of US$57,767,000,00.
The projects are registered at the following provinces: Luanda (24), Bengo (1), Benguela (1), and Cabinda (1).
The projects are registered at the following sectors: Construction (10), Fishing (1), Real State (2), Commerce (2), Industry (11). Source: AIPEX
Q: What are the areas in your country that you want Korean companies to invest and what are the areas where you wish your businessman to invest in Korea?
A: In Angola, the Government has defined priority sectors to receive investment, so all the Korean businessmen are more than welcome to invest in the following areas:
b) Agro-industry and food
c) Specialized Health Units and Medical Services
d) Education, technical and vocational training, higher education, scientific research/innovation
e) Basic sanitation
f) Collection and treatment of solid waste
g) Construction, public works, telecommunications and infrastructures, airport and railway
h) Textile, Clothing and Footwear
i) Forestry, reforestation, and industrial transformation of forest resources
j) Production and Distribution of electricity.
The sectors mentioned above can assist in building partnerships between both countries where skills, resources and materials can be exchanged and investment can be applied both ways to assisting in the growth of both economies.
Q: What are your competitive products and/or services attractive to Korea?
A: AIPEX attractive service includes the Investor Gateway is the investment facilitation mechanism through which the Agency concentrates all operations inherent to investments, further helps investors by obtaining the necessary paperwork and authorizations from the relevant public administration bodies in order to help speed up the implementation of investment projects.
Angola has a favorable region for Agriculture, regions with climatic conditions, 2 harvest seasons per year in some regions and 77 river basins 43 hydrological basins.
This allow Angola to have great potential in the production of tropical fruits production such as banana, avacodo, oranges, melon, mango etc. Cultivated percentage of 14% in use.
--Constant demand for the product
--A broad market for action that provides the opportunity to diversify
--Agriculture is one of the sectors that suffers the least from the economic
crisis because it is a food business
--Good profitability and low initial capital to start.
Q: Nowadays, economic cooperation between the two countries are very important. Who are the major Korean companies actively engaged in bilateral economic cooperation? Please introduce them in detail.
A: The Korean Government has made efforts to support the promotion of cooperation between South Korea and Angola, using subsidies and loans, especially in the areas of Agriculture, Fisheries, Public Security and Education.
The company LG is manufacturing products such as TV and air conditioning, through an assembly plant in the national territory.
In the long term, we hope that both countries will discover mutually beneficial business areas, such as agriculture and manufacturing (automobiles and agricultural machinery), to achieve cooperation, thus ensuring the basic strength of various business groups in Angola, further strengthening cooperation between the two countries.
The field of cooperation between the two countries also needs to be developed, from the existing economic and development cooperation, into a cooperative partnership, which expands the focus on security and the environment, regional peace and climate change, in the medium and long-term deadline, and we can try to use the South Korea-Angola Joint Commission.
Q: Korean People, especially the up and coming Korean businessmen need rest and recuperation. What are your tourism attractions?
A: Angola has many enchanting tourist attractions, the country is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, beautiful blend of grasslands, savannas, tropical forests and urban expanses inland:
pleasant climate - average temperature above 23°C - 9 summer months; captivating culture - musical diversity (with emphasis on Kizomba – country of origin); expressive crafts, friendly and hospitable people, historic sites, including the UNESCO heritage site M'banza Kongo; a wide variety of natural landscapes from tropical forests to beaches and desert.
Tundavala Cleft; Maiombe Forest; Caves of Nzenzo; Kalandula Falls; Mussulo Island; Cape Ledo; Blue Bay; Egypt Beach; etc.
A wide variety of natural resources, as well as a great biodiversity with exotic and unique fauna and flora (hyppos, unique birds, chimpanzees, elephants, gorillas, lions, a variety of plants and herbs, rare animal and vegetable species, etc.), which may attract new types of more adventure-oriented tourists.
Existence of tourist development poles - Calandula - Okavango Basin - Cabo Ledo; existence of hotel infrastructures distributed throughout the country, with levels of service that are already quite professional in many cases.
Q: What are the most important festive days in your country? Please elaborate.
A: Lubango Festival. Based on the feast of Our Lady of the Hill, Lubango Festival is a 30-day celebration held in Lubango City in Angola’s Huila Province. Beginning in August, it features music performances, fashion parades, a sports tournament, motorbike
racing, and the prestigious Miss Huila beauty pageant. The festival also kicks off the Expo-Huila trade show, along with some workshops and a cattle auction,
Angola Carnival: Angola Carnival is one of the most colorful and widely celebrated festivals in the country. Beginning on the last Thursday of the Lenten season, it goes until the day before Ash Wednesday and features shows, performances, parades, and dances.
Africa Day 25th May. The celebration of Africa day, is known all over the country and Angolans are always proud to showcase our tradition, heritage and culture.
17 September: The birth of Dr. António Agostinho Neto, a writer and politician, born on September 17, 1922.Dr. António Agostinho Neto was the first President of Angola. Having founded the bases for which this Nation is built daily, to this day, his homage and his achievements on behalf of Angolans.
2 November: All Souls’ Day is a day of alms giving and prayers for the dead.
Independence Day 11 November: The country achieved independence from the Portuguese after a war that lasted over 13 years, which is known as the Angolan War of Independence.
Q: Do you have other prominent Koreans, other than businessmen, who truly and sincerely contribute to the promotion of friendship and cooperation between the two countries?
A: Yes, His Excellency Mr. Kwang-Jin Choi, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Republic of Angola, despite the distance that separates the two countries and different climates, the Mr. Ambassador is playing a crucial role in the development of bilateral relations between Angola and South Korea.
Q: Please add whatever other details that you might consider to be important.
A: The activities of Korean companies in the Angolan market have expanded not only in the shipbuilding sector but also in automobiles, agricultural machinery, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy. In particular, the government of His Excellency. João Lourenço is very interested in sharing experiences for the development of national and industrial strategies with government innovation.
Let us hope that this cooperation will deepen.
His Excellency Chairman Antonio Henriques da Silva of the Agency for Private Investment and Exports Promotion of the Republic of Angola mentioned that Korean Ambassador Choi Kwang-Jin in the Republic of Angola, despite the distance that separates the two countries and different climates, is playing a crucial role in the development and further promotion and enhancement of bilateral relations between Angola and the Republic of Korea.
Ambassador Choi has an equally favorable view, if not more, for Angola. Here are excerpts from Ambassador Choi’s view of Angola:
Angola, located in southwestern Africa, is a large country with a population of about 32 million and a land area more than five times that of Korea.
In 2002, after the civil war that had lasted for about 30 years ended and national unity was achieved, Angola is a major oil producing country in Africa and has been experiencing rapid economic growth based on abundant natural resources such as diamonds, iron ore, and gas.
Although Angola has been experiencing a recession due to low oil prices since 2014 due to its high dependence on oil at 80%, there is still great potential for cooperation with us as a major African country amid political stability through democratic regime change since 2017.
After establishing diplomatic ties with Angola on Jan. 6, 1992, Korea established a resident embassy in Luanda, the capital city, in December 2007, and Angola established a resident embassy in Seoul in August 2008.
Since then, the two countries have maintained active exchanges in various fields such as politics, economy and culture, as well as high-level consultative bodies such as the Ministerial-level Joint Economic Committee, as well as working-level policy councils.
In particular, this year 2022 is a meaningful year to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Korea and Angola, and various events are being prepared to further develop bilateral relations.
The activities of Korean companies, which have been focused on shipbuilding and construction, have recently been expanded to include automobiles, agricultural machinery, and new and renewable energy.
The current Lourenco administration is very interested in sharing Korea's development experiences, such as national and industrial strategies and government innovation, and it is expected that such mutual cooperation will intensify.
In spite of the current difficult economic situation, Korean businesses and Koreans are playing a pivotal role in the development of bilateral relations by working diligently and faithfully.
The Korean government expresses great respect and gratitude for this, and at the embassy level, we are providing a variety of information related to Angola that is helpful for the activities of Korean businesspeople and visitors.
We will continue to do our best to provide more useful information related to Angola and Namibia, an adjunct country, in a timely manner.