Angola, France discuss agriculture, food cooperation

Luanda – Angola and France Thursday in Luanda analysed cooperation in the sectors of agriculture, agri-food and scientific research.

This was during an audience the Angolan Vice President Manuel Vicente granted to French ambassador, Sylvain Itte.

The French ambassador said at the end of the meeting that he was instructed by his government to consolidate the main axes of economic cooperation.

The diplomat mentioned agricultural development, food sector and maintenance of existing strategic political relations, as the main axes of both countries cooperation.

In addition to the oil exploration, he said, France is also coming up with the new sectors of cooperation in the agricultural and agri-food sectors.

The France ambassador added that the intention is to help Angola to develop in the agro-industrial, research and scientific research areas.

Sylvain Itte stated that his country is available to monitor Angola in the diversification of its economy, mainly in the fields of agricultural and food sector.

According to him, five of the top 10 agro-industrial groups in the world are French ones.

More than 100 Angolan students are attending the oil engineering in France with support of French government, said the French ambassador, who defends the need to extend the scholarship in other fields like agricultural and food sectors.

In order to ensure training of staff in engineering and research fields, the ambassador said that his country has trained the staff of faculty of the Higher Agri-Food Institute of Malanje, set to open this year.

The head of the French diplomatic mission expressed his country’s interest in making Angola a world’s top tourism destination taking into account its potential, although there is still much to do in terms of infrastructure and staff training.

He spoke of the drafting of a defence agreement, decided during the visit to Angola by French President, Francois Hollande, as being in its final phase.

The objective is to deepen the exchange between the armed forces of the two countries in the area of intelligence and support in the matters of regional and peacekeeping organisations.

He noted that the authorities are working on elimination of double taxation on exports in order to improve the business climate and stimulate business investment in the two countries.

On the other hand, the diplomat said the two countries relations have improved a lot in the last years after the State visits by the President of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, to France in 2014, and the French counterpart, Francois Hollande, in 2015.

Sylvain Itte put the global trade at USD 1 billion, with 70% from Angola to France and the remainder from France to Angola.

He explains that trade fell by around 50% in 2016 due to economic crisis and the decline in oil activity, despite the fact that Angolan oil exports to France remained at the same level.

The French diplomat also said that the meeting assessed the political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR).

Source: Angola Press News Agency