Angola woos investors with law changes
Libon - New legislation on private investment will help
Angola attract overseas investors, with a return to growth this year ensuring
the economy has left its payment problems behind, the head of the country's
investment agency said on Friday.
Oil-exporter Angola announced last August that it owed
$6.8bn - twice what was previously estimated - to foreign firms involved in the
southern African country's post-war reconstruction.
"Angola cannot face its huge economic challenges on its
own. We have to bring in private, foreign capital, so we have just approved new
laws which will come into force next week," Aguinaldo Jaime, head of the
Anip investment agency told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in
He said the new private investment code will provide
incentives such as tax breaks, reduced red tape and giving his agency more
authority to approve the incentives
The law would also help tap huge interest in investment
opportunities in a country where the primary infrastructure was mostly
destroyed during a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002, Jaime said.
Angola, which rivals Nigeria as Africa's biggest oil
producer and is the world's fifth biggest diamond exporter, had double-digit
growth between 2004 and 2008, but has slowed sharply in the last two years due
to a slump in oil and diamond prices.
Jaime said that the crisis had depleted the country's
foreign reserves and led to the payment problems, but added that a return to
growth this year will ensure they are not repeated.
"Fortunately we are overcoming the effects of the
crisis and international financial institutions forecast Angola to grow around
6 percent this year," he said.
"This means that Angola will return to the robust
growth path it had before the crisis and will honour its commitments," he