New Era (Windhoek)

4 June 2012

Namibia: Local Breweries Take On Angola

Windhoek — Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) started exporting to Angola in 2002, with Windhoek Special being the first export product.

Today, NBL exports Windhoek Lager, Windhoek Draught, Windhoek Light and Tafel Lager to Angola.

NBL products are available through Shoprite outlets in Angola, as well as in all the hip and trendy bars and restaurants on the island in Luanda.

NBL has a distributor in Luanda who warehouses, markets and sells its products in the capital Luanda, as well as Lobito and parts of Huambo Province.

Antonio Simoes, NBL's market manager for Angola and Mozambique says that Angola is a key building block in NBL's export strategy.

"Angola is currently the third largest clear-beer market in Africa and is showing above average growth. There is a great opportunity for NBL's 100 percent pure beer in the Angolan market, from (the perspective of) the nature of our product, as well as our historical ties to this country."

There are always challenges when exporting to another country. One of the challenges exporting to Angola is the 50 percent import duty that causes some limitations to growth due to high pricing.

"Duties have always restricted real growth. There is also speculation that the duties might be increased in the near future. The kwanza, Angola's currency, has devalued by circa 20 percent over the past four years, making our products more expensive.

There is also less liquidity in the market and therefore fewer funds are available outside Luanda - all factors hampering penetration of the market and gain in market share," Simoes added.

"Another challenge facing us is the long cycle between product delivery and cash in the bank. Most outlets purchase stock on credit and this can become a high risk in our business."

"Exports is a key component of our strategy to build sustainable businesses, in line with our group's purpose of creating a future and enhancing life, and supporting the attainment of our country's Vision 2030.

"Therefore, the facilitation of bi-lateral trade agreements to reduce the duties on beer produced in Namibia, and engagements with Customs and Excise on both sides to simplify cross-border processes, can go a long way in enhancing trade and ultimately growing our economy," said Simoes.

Despite these challenges, NBL is continuously looking for new and innovative ways of doing business in Angola, since its proudly Namibian beer deserves to be shared with Africa and the rest of the world.

NBL also exports to a number of other African destinations including Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Cameroon, and Kenya.

"Exports boost our economy, but unfortunately each country has its own set of regulations and unique challenges, which we need to tackle to make it a sustainable business."

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