Angola-United States trade fell from US$20.9 billion in 2008 to the current US$2.3 billion, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Angola (AmCham-Angola) Pedro Godinho has said.
Pedro Godinho said the decline represents more than 90 percent.
The source recalled that the majority of the value recorded in trade between the two countries resulted from the export and sale of oil, but he would not elaborate the reason of the drop.
Speaking to the press at the end of another Business Forum, ahead of sixth anniversary of AmCham-Angola, he pointed to strengthening the improvement of the business environment in the country as one of the necessary mechanisms to reverse the current commercial and economic situation between the countries.
Specifically, Pedro Godinho pointed to the facilitation and speed of processes for the entry of potential investors into the country as one of the aspects that must be improved, to attract more American companies.
Therefore, he suggests that access for businesspeople interested in investing in Angola be done within 24 or 48 hours, similar to what happens in dozens of countries around the world where Americans also have investments.
According to Pedro Godinho, it is also necessary to start thinking about the possibility of exempting entry visas for investors, as in other regions of the world, with a view to the growth and socioeconomic development of Angola, a country that has the potential to do part of the group of 30 most developed countries in the world (G30).
“Improving the business environment in Angola is crucial for attracting more American investors to the country, a fact that will diversify and expand commercial exchanges,” he stated.
Given this scenario, the president of AmCham assured that he will continue to work with the Angolan government authorities on improving the specific aspects that have hindered the entry of more investors into Angola.
Also, the source guaranteed that his association will excel in transferring knowledge from the USA to Angola, through technical-professional training and investment in academia, also including the cultural aspects of both countries, taking into account the historical- culture that unites the two peoples.
On the other hand, he praised AmCham-Angola’s role during the six years of its existence in the country, for fulfilling its purpose, which is essentially based on enhancing commercial, economic, cultural and academic relations.
As a result, he highlighted, the country currently has the presence of 60 American companies that operate in different areas, with stress to six in the oil sector and the rest operating in sectors such as construction, telecommunications, service provision, among others.
Still, he mentioned that Am-Cham’s intermediation has also contributed to the travel of different entities and representatives of American financial institutions to Angola in recent years.
As example, he said, last July, the president of the Exim Bank of the United States of America (USA), Reta Jo Lewis, made US$900 million available to invest in the renewable energy sector in Angola.
Additionally, he recalled, the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), a Development Fund for US private companies, is also available to finance 250 million dollars for the Lobito Railway Corridor (Benguela – Angola).
This project will connect the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean, passing through the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia.
American companies interested in investing in Angola
On the occasion, the US ambassador to Angola, Tulinabo Mushingi, highlighted that, in 2023, at least 14 companies expressed their interest in investing in various sectors of the Angolan economy.
According to the diplomat, these investors are getting closer and closer to transforming their business projects into reality, as a result of the cooperation of the Angolan government authorities.
Among the various sectors in which these companies operate, he highlighted the installation of silos for the storage of agricultural products, as well as the construction of 186 metal bridges as the priority infrastructure for investors.
Along with these investments in sight, the ambassador stated that there is still a long list of American businessmen interested in investing in Angola.
“In addition to security and good governance, we are promoting a new Angola, which needs a new strategy for attracting investors. Therefore, if the business environment improves, many American companies will come to invest in the country”, said the diplomat.
Apart from businesspeople, members of the Angolan Government participated in the AmCham Business Forum, held on Wednesday night in Luanda.
Also a delegation of 60 American citizens, linked to the Wiliam Tucker Society, which brings together descendants of the first Angolans to arrive in the US, more than 404 years ago, attended the event.
Among the individuals present at this event, the former Vice President of the Republic of Angola, Bornito de Sousa, also stood out.
As a special guest was the chairperson of the Association of Engineers of Angola (OEA), Paulino Neto, who presented the strategy to strengthen cooperation between Angolan and American experts.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Angola is an affiliate of the United States Chamber of Commerce, founded by President William Taft in 1912.
AmChams operates in more than 118 countries around the world and aim to promote cultural, academic, commercial and economic ties between the United States and its partners.
Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)