Ver Angola


New customs tariff hinders competition and could increase prices, says economist

The new customs tariff will increase prices and favor monopolies, argued Angolan economist Heitor Carvalho, suggesting that this instrument should not be seen as a source of revenue collection.

: Facebook AMOR A Angola
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"The customs tariff cannot be an instrument for collecting revenue, it has to be an instrument of commercial policy and commercial policy is up to the Ministry of Commerce, it is not up to the Ministry of Finance [which] should be prohibited from creating customs tariffs", he said.

The director of the Economic Research Center at Universidade Lusíada (Cinvetec) was speaking to the Lusa agency, on the sidelines of the 1st Economy 100 Makas Conference, which addressed the theme "Competitiveness: The key to a more Developed and Inclusive Angola".

Heitor Carvalho, who was one of the speakers at the aforementioned conference this Monday, stated that the prices of imported products must be "slightly higher" than those that the best national producers can place on the market, to maintain permanent pressure on domestic producers.

For the academic, in order to have customs protection it is necessary to cross exchange and customs rates, highlighting that high exchange rates, aggravated by high customs fees or the conditioning of imports, prevent external competition, in a market where internal competition is also weak.

"This customs tariff is something that doesn't make any sense, especially because we already have an exchange rate high enough to make imported products expensive. If we still put 30 percent, 40 percent on top, the prices of imported products become so far from the prices of national products, which do not force competitiveness at all", he said.

Without this competition, he continued, national producers "are satisfied and happy, because they have no competitors and set prices as if they were monopolists".

The country's new customs tariff, which came into force on the 3rd of this month, increases import taxes for some widely consumed products, including rice, sugar, oil, beans, among others, with the justification of protecting national production and encourage its increase.

For economist Carlos Rosado Carvalho, responsible for the conference, "the system is set up to create difficulties in selling facilities" and Angola needs to make "a total change" of paradigm to become competitive.

Criticizing "the attachment to power and positions" that inhibit "necessary changes", he considered that "some of those who are doing well today would probably become bad", this being one of the factors that inhibit changes in Angola.

"People prefer to have pro-reform rhetoric, but then they don't carry out the reforms", he highlighted.

"What we see is an increase in poverty, weak economic growth, which in some way contradicts the official discourse. We are not saying that nothing has been done, they recently ended visas, which is a fabulous thing, but if We don't have results because we are doing something wrong and that has to be changed", highlighted the university professor and analyst.


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