Deputy Minister Magwanishe and His Angolan Counterpart Agree it is Important for Angola to be Part of SADC Trade Protocol

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe and the Secretary of Commerce in Angola, Dr Anadeu Leitao Nunes agreed that it would be significant for Angola to be part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Trade Protocol as it would contribute to regional integration efforts. Both agreed during a bilateral meeting in Luanda, Angola yesterday. The meeting took place on the sidelines of a five-day trade and investment mission to Angola, where Deputy Minister Magwanishe is leading a business delegation comprising 20 members.

According to Magwanishe, the Angolan market is one of South Africa's fastest growing export destinations in SADC. He said Angola's accession to the SADC Trade Protocol would not only improve trade and enhance harmonisation of customs processes, but it would also contribute to regional integration efforts. The SADC Trade Protocol seeks to ensure sustainable economic and inclusive growth, through the creation of a larger regional market and improving Africa's integration in the global economy.

South Africa, through the International Trade and Economic Development Division (ITEDD) a division of the dti, is ready to provide technical capacity and assistance with regards to Angola's accession to the SADC Protocol on Trade. We are committed to work and share resources with Angola, in matters related to standards, laboratory accreditation as well as the requisite capacity building. In this regard South Africa, through the dti will avail expertise from the its Standard, Quality, Accreditation and Measurement (SQAM) Authorities to enable collaboration with its Angolan counterparts on issues of standards, management systems, business improvement and regulatory approval information, said Magwanishe.

Nunes concurred with Magwanishe and was pleased to pronounce that Angola would accede to the SADC Trade Protocol and that the roadmap was referred to the secretary of SADC. He said it ought to be discussed at the next meeting of ministers. He further said there was no turning back for Angola, as this was an instruction from President JoAPound o Lourenco.

"We welcome the technical capacity support by the South African government on SADC Trade Protocol. More importantly on training of entrepreneurship and language skills to address the language barrier amongst the businesspeople, said Nunes.

Furthermore, Magwanishe alerted his counterpart of the concerns of being unable to repatriate investments and dividends to South Africa by businesspeople as well as high import duties and tariffs. He added that he was convinced that if these issues were addressed more investments from South Africa to Angola would be realised.

Nunes mentioned that Angola had recently passed the Private Investment Law and other reforms aimed at institutionalising economic changes as part of the interventions by government to improve and simplify doing business as well as attracting more investments into the country. He said that the law would eliminate barriers to foreign direct investments.

According to Nunes, the law has scrapped the requirement for local partners to hold a stake of at least 35% in the share capital of the companies. Additionally, 2 000 line items which include industrial products and fertilizers that are manufactured in South Africa in the Harmonised System were now zero-rated, meaning that there were no longer any tariffs on the products.

Source: The Department of Trade and Industry