Angola: 2,400 National Business Projects Approved in Three Years

Luanda — Two thousand and four hundred more projects, estimated at more than Kz 660 billion, were approved in the last three years, under the Programme to Support Production, Export Diversification and Import Substitution (PRODESI).

The statistics were released by Secretary of State for the Economy Mário Caetano João on Tuesday, explaining that the projects are expected to create more than 60,000 jobs.

Taking stock of the third anniversary of PRODESI, Mário João referred to the instruments for financing the programme.

He mentioned the Credit Support Project (PAC), the economic relief measures, contained in Presidential Decree nº 98/20, and Notice nº 10/2020, of the National Bank of Angola.

Mário Caetano João said that more than 13, 000 national producers from the country's 18 provinces are listed in National Production Portal (PPN).

He underlined that in the first quarter of the current year around 40 fairs were held, with a turnover estimated at Kz 530 million. Also 1,870 training actions in entrepreneurship and cooperatives were promoted across the country.

He said despite the adverse situation experienced last year, in 2020 some signs were felt in the productive sector, with agriculture growing by 5. 5%, fisheries 2.9% and the manufacturing industry 6%.

"PRODESI is yet another milestone in the irreversible process of accelerating the diversification of the national economy", highlighted the Secretary of State, during the ceremony, which also served to award prizes to entities and companies that work to put the programme into operation.

The Secretary of State recalled that, after its emergence on 20 July 2018, PRODESI quickly became one of the main programmes of the National Development Plan (PDN 2018-2022), being implemented by the current Executive, led by President João Lourenço.

He highlighted that the programme is aimed at diversifying the national economy, as the main lever to support the development of the private sector.

The current Executive, he said, defined economic diversification as one of the main interventions of the Government, through the promotion of national production, the rationalisation of exchange resources with the Basic Basket, the increase in foreign direct investment (FDI), as well as the improvement of the national business environment.

He said that in the fiscal sector, after four years of deficit fiscal balances, in 2018 and 2019 global profits of 2.1% and 0.8% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) were registered, respectively, interrupted in 2020, due to the impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to him, the non-oil primary deficit was also reduced, from 16.2% of GDP in 2017 to 5.4% in 2020, essential gains to ensure that the country can guarantee a sustainable trajectory of the public debt.

In the external chapter, in 2018, a process of reforms in the exchange market was started, including the change of the exchange rate regime, to a flexible rate, in order to deal with the erosion of Net International Reserves (RIL).

This measure allows the balance of the exchange rate to be established, based on the demand and supply of foreign exchange.

Mário Caetano João added that, since the adoption of the new exchange rate regime, from January 2018 to June 2020, the RIL fell by only USD 2.32 billion, counteracting the previous trend of quite sharp decline.

On the other hand, he said that the gap between the secondary and informal foreign exchange market has significantly reduced, from 150% at the end of 2017 to around 4% at the end of the first half of the current year, which demonstrates that access to foreign exchange has improved considerably.

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