By Abdul Rahman Suagibu –
NEW AFRICA DAILY NEWS, Freetown, Sierra Leone- Joao Lourenco, President of Angola and Sheikh Jamim bin Hamad Al-Thani– Emir of the State of Qatar, witnessed the signing of agreement on “Mutual Promotion and Protection of Investments” based on sustainable economic development of the two countries.
The two parties agreed to the “Protocol for the Establishment of Political Consultation Mechanisms” to strengthen cooperation between states in shearing positions on bilateral, regional, continental and international issues. In solidifying and revamping cooperation between the two governments and facilitating the mobility of their diplomatic and special passport holders a “Diplomatic and Special Passport visa Waiver Agreement” was signed.
Being created to establish for bilateral cooperation in the field of “Merchant Marine,” Angola and Qatar from today henceforth, are partners at a time, and they also sealed the “Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation”. This aims to lay the foundations for economic, trade and technical cooperation between the parties in the Industry, Mines, Energy, Agriculture, Communications, and Transports, Construction, Labor and Tourism sectors.
Focus also goes on the “Memorandum of Understanding between the Qatar Port Management Company and the Angolan Port Maritime Institute” for cooperation between the port entities of both countries and the respective management of the part systems.
This “small giant” of 2.7 million inhabitants, the World leader in per capita GDP ($ 129,112 per son) has oil, natural gas and financial market investments as its main sources of wealth, so Angola wants to do its best to learn the experience. In Qatar, there is freedom of movement of capital, with promoters having no difficulty repatriating profits or other income, although in public services, contract law provides for preferential treatment to investment projects for the production of goods with national added value. The economy increases, above all, on the premise that, its main wealth is natural gas, sold under long term contracts, and the efforts that the official authorities have made through non – energy private sector development policies. Through it remains dependent on natural gas production.
The tendency of the economic growth decelerated from 2012 to 2017, amongst a percentage of GDP changes in previous years; contributing to the drop in international oil prices.
The diplomatic crisis with its neighbors (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain) in 2017 affected business with average annual GDP growth standing at 3.2% between 2013 and 2017. It is expected that, the average annual rate of change of 2.3% for GDP may be recorded in real terms over the period 2018-2022
Qatar’s foreign trade regime imposes few restrictions on imports, although these operations can only be performed by companies or national citizens of the Qatar/Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), duly registered with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry from Qatar.
Apparently, the market approach should be carried and through local agent/representative, with the agency contract being a rule of exclusivity and with a fixed term. In turn, ongoing reforms in Angola have changed the situation partnerships with Angolans or national companies are no longer mandatory. Hitherto foreign investors were “obliged” to share with domestic investors so that they would hold at least 35% of the capital and effective participation in management.
This was true in the areas of electricity and water, hospital and tourism, transport and logistics, telecommunications and information technology, construction and the media.
Current economic diplomacy, headed by the President of the Republic, Joao Lourenco, has turned the speech to encourage private investment. If there was little mention of priority sectors, the new private investment law defines where the investor can benefit, as in education (vocational training, higher education, scientific research and innovation); agriculture, food and agro – industry; health services reforestation (industrial transformation of forest and forestry resources); textiles, clothing and footwear, hospitality, tourism and Leisure.
Other sectors are those of construction and public works, telecommunications and information technologies, airport and rail infrastructure, production and distribution of electricity and basic sanitation, solid waste collection and treatment.
For New Africa Daily News Abdul Rahman Suagibu Reports, Africa Correspondent