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Angola set to boost economic diversification and agri investment

Angola’s Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Economy and Planning and UNCTAD discussed reforms to boost FDI for economic diversification during the presentation of the investment policy review (IPR)

A more diversified FDI portfolio and the targeting of the FDI projects better aligned with Angola’s needs could go a long way in supporting the achievement of the national development objectives.

The government has put in place an ambitious programme to reform the business and investment environment. The IPR identified remaining gaps and bottlenecks including the complex system for FDI entry and establishment, burdensome operational regulations, the persistence of restrictive business practices and a lack of institutional capacity and coordination. These gaps and bottlenecks affect the country’s ability to fully take advantage of its strategic location, abundant natural resources and preferential access to external markets.

The IPR devoted special attention to investment in agribusiness and its contribution to sustainable development. It calls for concrete measures to foster responsible investment and promote inclusive agriculture modes of production. The recommendations emphasise the need to strike a policy balance between food security and export development objectives, improve access to land and infrastructure, and promote entrepreneurship and skills development.

In his opening speech, Manuel Neto da Costa, minister of economy and planning, said, “FDI used to be neglected and this created a negative cycle for the economy. Many of the problems we face are addressed by the IPR.”

The IPR was undertaken by UNCTAD as part of Train for Trade II – a four-year project financed by the European Union. The project aims to help the country strengthen and diversify its economy prior to its graduation from least developed country status in 2021.

In parallel to the national workshop to discuss the IPR, and as a first step for the implementation of its recommendations, UNCTAD conducted a two-day training session. The goal was to build the capacity of government officials on investment promotion and facilitation as well as on policies for responsible investment in agriculture.

UNCTAD has supported more than 50 developing countries and economies in transition by conducting investment policy reviews over 20 years. It has provided technical support to implement the IPR’ recommendations.

Studies show that UNCTAD’s Investment Policy Reviews have helped countries attract and benefit more from increased FDI, while improving business climates.