Ver Angola


German ambassador says Merkel's visit means it is possible to do business in Angola

The German ambassador to Angola said that the country needs time to gain investor confidence, but noted that Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit aims to show that it is possible to do business in the country.


"Angola's reputation is changing, but not from one moment to the next, they will need some time to gain the trust of German investors, but that is precisely one of the objectives of the chancellor's visit," he said in an interview to Lusa Dirk Lölke.

The diplomat stressed that the inclusion of Angola in Angela Merkel's African tour intends to give two signs: one, political, that Germany supports the reforms being carried out by João Lourenço, the other, economic, that it is possible to do business in Angola.

"This will be shown clearly with economic decisions by private companies", who accompanied Merkel on the visit.

Asked about the impact of the 'Luanda Leaks' investigation, which exposed the financial schemes at the origin of Isabel dos Santos' empire, he admitted that, in the short term, they may “create more doubts for German investors”, but at the same time it serves to accelerate the Government's fight against corruption, putting more pressure on the Government and Justice.

Germany has a strong presence in neighboring South Africa, but incipient in Angola, currently with just over a hundred resident citizens and the presence of around 30 companies.

Among these are multinational giants like Siemens, as well as companies that operate mainly in technological areas and in renewable energies, but also engineering and industry.

The diplomat acknowledged that the country's reputation still alienates companies, especially small and medium-sized companies, which make up the majority of the German business fabric.

“They may be more skeptical, more cautious about coming to a country that they don't know so well, that don't speak the language. So bringing them here to see the country's opportunities and potential can be important, ”said Dirk Lölke, stressing that he is“ working to attract more German companies ”.

The ambassador was convinced that German investors will also be aware of the privatization program launched by João Lourenço last year and pointed out that, although Angola remains poorly positioned, with regard to the world rankings regarding the ease of doing business, the reforms that the President initiated two years ago “are taking the country in a good direction”.

Therefore, she stressed, the chancellor returned to the country after a first visit in 2011, at a time when “the framework for bilateral relations and the business environment” changed.

Recognizing Angola's efforts to mediate regional tensions, as has been done, for example, at the four-party summit between Presidents João Lourenço, Félix Tshisekedi (Democratic Republic of Congo), Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), recently held in Luanda, considered that it is “a good example” of how the country has exerted a positive influence in the region.

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