Take advantage of Angola's huge import bill, companies told

HARARE - ZimTrade, the country’s trade and export promotion body, has urged local companies to take advantage of Angola’s $20 billion import bill and venture into the southern African country’s export market with vast business opportunities exist.

The oil rich country’s import bill is $20, 5 billion per annum. Angola, a country ravaged by civil war from 1975 to 2002 is mainly dependent on oil and minerals.

The southern African country is the second largest producer of oil in Africa after Nigeria and also comes third on the continent in terms of diamond production.

The construction industry which peaked at the end of the civil war is booming and the country’s vast water bodies with potential for electricity generation remain unexploited.

Mike Nyamazana, the managing director for Africa Corporate Affairs Advisors said the smooth post war reconstruction period in Angola has made the southern African country an attractive trade and investment destination.

“Angola is a $120 billion economy with political and economic stability together with investor-friendly policies,” said Nyamazana.

“Almost 90 percent of the goods used in the country are imported and major imports include food stuffs, consumer goods, capital goods, machinery and vehicles among others.”

He said more opportunities exist in the meat industry where companies like Shoprite have interests in fresh produce, dairy products, fortified milk, fruit juice and cordials.

Long-term opportunities also exist for maize meal in Angola and private millers, Grain Marketing Board could take advantage.

“Currently, Angola is importing (maize meal) from Namibia. As an example, a 30 tonne truck at ShopRite does not last a week when received,” said Nyamazana.

He said the surge in demand for maize meal in Angola could be a stimulant for the revival of the ailing maize production.

ZimTrade Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMES) Export development manager, Allan Majuru says market research in Angola revealed that the Angolan economy was relatively stable.

“The middle class is growing, creating an increase in demand; that alone is potential buying power,” he said.

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