By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK An investors’ meeting aimed at encouraging local builders to participate in the lucrative construction industry in neighbouring Angola took place last Friday in Windhoek. A three-member Angolan delegation belonging to a company involved in township development addressed local business people with the aim to promote property development in one area outside Lubango in Angola. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) Tarah Shaanika said the delegation was in Namibia to look for Namibian businesses that would provide certain services. “The response has been positive despite concerns regarding business safety in Angola,” he said. At the gathering, Angola’s National Investment Promotion Agency (ANIP) Director Antonio Prata urged Namibians wanting to invest in that country to follow the right channels to avoid being swindled by unscrupulous people. Prata indicated that Angola has laws that all those who want to invest in the country need to abide by. “If the right channels were followed by all those who want to invest, all the swindling activities would not have been there,” he stated. The remark follows complaints from local business people who indicated that previously, they engaged in business deals with some Angolan “businesses” only to realise later that they had been cheated. Prata admitted that like in any other country, there are some people indeed who call themselves businessmen and women, but are fake. However, he assured that his office and other officials are there to ensure that investors in Angola establish their businesses without impediments and thus the business community should feel free to trade with his country. He indicated that his office was interested in promoting the spirit of private ownership to ensure private-driven development. The present legal framework on business, according to him, is sufficient to address any issues whenever a businessperson feels aggrieved. Incentives for business people eyeing Angola as a partner abound and according to Prata, an environment that would allow foreign investors to find it easy to externalise their dividends has been created especially that there is no law barring them from doing that. Other incentives like tax are available especially to all those who want to invest in Angola. The incentives vary from one economic zone to another, he added. Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Benhardt Esau applauded the delegation, stating that there could be no better time for Namibian businesses to do this, as there is certainly a need to develop various housing projects in Angola given the country’s history of war. “Obviously, Angola needs to further develop new townships and with this comes health, shopping, education, recreation and other vital facilities,” stated Esau. As countries that have a long-standing relationship and with mutual assistance, Namibia and Angola can work together to fight common economic problems. Though the two countries are endowed with natural resources ranging from mineral to agricultural, their levels do not match that. “As Angola revives its economy, Namibian exports have to change in terms of content, quality and quantity, for the country to increase its market share in that country,” said the official. Namibian businesses stand to benefit from forming joint venture operations with Angolan partners.
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