Japanese newspaper hails reforms in Angola

Luanda – The economic reforms of President JoAPound o Lourenco have once again attracted the attention of the international press, particularly the Japanese newspaper Japan Times, which highlights, in a special report on Angola, the Government’s measures to attract new investors.

In extensive work, regarding the participation of the Angolan Head of State at the 7th Japan-Africa Summit, the newspaper reports that the country, the eighth largest oil exporter in the world, with daily production of 1.5 million barrels / day, “goes through profound transformation”.

According to the Japan Times, which quotes the US State Department, “JoAPound o Lourenco has been improving Angola’s image internationally, as a result of his reform agenda and desire to engage with the international community.

“With these reforms, he points out, the country, the fifth largest diamond producer in the world, rich in natural gas, iron, phosphate, copper, gold, manganese, arable land and water resources, expects to achieve a positive GDP growth of up to 4.1 percent by 2022.

The daily stressed that in his effort to attract new investors, the Angolan president “launched” a crusade against corruption, which he considered a “social scourge”.

In this crusade, writes the Japan Times, JoAPound o Lourenco seeks a more efficient and transparent public sector, the improvement of Angola’s macroeconomic stability and competitiveness, as well as the adaptation of the financial system to international standards.

The report also refers to the Privatization Program of public enterprises in Angola, underlining “that the government has introduced a program and National Development Plan for 2018/2022 to encourage private sector engagement”.

It is a privatization plan of several state-owned companies in various sectors of the economy by 2022, including assets of strategic institutions such as Angola Telecom and the National Fuel Society (Sonangol).

Other areas in President JoAPound o Lourenco’s “sight” under this program are mining, agriculture, industry, building materials, information and information technologies, food processing, textiles, education and health.

“We will move forward with an export promotion and import substitution program where the main player will be the private sector,” writes the Japan Times, quoting words from the third President of Angola, in power since September 2017.

In another area of the story, the newspaper writes that Japan considers Angola a key partner in Africa, underlining that cooperation between the two states covers several domains.

Citing theAsian country’s ambassador to Angola, Hironori Sawada, the main areas of cooperation are financial assistance, technology transfer and training in the education, health, agriculture, industry, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Japan’s largest and oldest English-language daily lists several ongoing Japanese projects in Angola in the areas of energy, agriculture (rice and cotton cultivation), rehabilitation of textile and telecommunications factories (installation of the South Atlantic Cabe System between Africa and Latin America).

He recalls that Japan, through its private sector, has signed with the Angolan Ministry of Transport a project for the third phase of the Namibe Port development program, which will turn it into a logistics platform in southern Africa.

According to the Japan Times, which continues to quote Ambassador Hironori Sawada, this latest project “will have a major impact on bilateral relations.”

In the report, the ambassador encourages his country’s eight firms operating in Angola and future businessmen to partner with local entrepreneurs, taking advantage of the new Private Investment Law in the country, “which allows foreign investors to operate independently.”

According to the ambassador, the newspaper adds, the Angolan government has expressed interest in Japan’s participation in a tender for the construction of an oil refinery in Lobito, Benguela province, in a project estimated at US $ 6 billion.

He also called for a survey of the potential of an energy project in northern Angola and the construction of electricity transmission infrastructures in the south, as well as an important cotton production initiative, the ambassador said.

Strengthening Relations

The Angolan President travels to Japan Sunday to attend the work of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD2019), which will take place from 28 to 30 August in Yokohama.

According to the official agenda of the Head of State, JoAPound o Lourenco will speak on Wednesday on the panel called “Accelerating Economic Transformation and Improving the Business Environment through Innovation and Involvement of the Private Sector”.

On the sidelines of the event and at diplomatic level, the President of the Republic will meet with the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, on Thursday afternoon.

On the last day, August 30, JoAPound o Lourenco will participate, with other distinguished guests, in an Afternoon Tea offered by His Majesty Naruhito, Emperor of Japan, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

The President, among others, will travel with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Economy and Planning, Health, Energy and Water and Transport, who will take part in various events related to their portfolios under TICAD.

Source: Angola Press News Agency