Ricardo de Abreu was speaking at the ceremony to launch the international public tender for the 30-year management and concession of the Benguela Railroad, known as Lobito Corridor.
According to the minister, the investment aimed at rehabilitating and modernizing the Lobito corridor's infrastructures and circulating means, in order to make them available for the economic agents and population, as well as for the citizens of the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia, as well as to allow for an ever greater regional and intercontinental integration of those countries' economies.
"We are certain of the decisive factor for the increase in the global competitiveness of the region's export products and for the reduction in the cost of living of the populations of our countries, which the efficient and safe operation of the Lobito corridor can bring," he said.
The governor underlined that the tender launched this Wednesday "is based on the best international practices and requirements and in the strictest respect for the legislation and regulations in force, in order to ensure for its global relevance the binomial of attractiveness and legal security for the private participants and simultaneously the legitimate defense of national public interest and direct and indirect economic compensation for the Angolan State".
The Benguela railroad, noted Ricardo de Abreu, has a great potential that goes beyond the limits of Angola, being a regional landmark, which generates many expectations in the continent due to the high number of consumers in the region where it will circulate, in the interior of the country, and in DRCongo and, in the future, Zambia.
"This is the moment to prove to ourselves and to our brothers that the investment made in the rehabilitation and modernization of the Benguela Railroad was not in vain and will soon bear its deserved fruits. A railway line in Angola, but at the service of a whole region, which, starting at the Port of Lobito, will be able to reach Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, as well as after the previous connection with Zambia, reaching Mozambique", he highlighted.
The railway line that connects Lobito to Luau is the longest in Angola, with a length of 1344 kilometers and connects the Port of Lobito, on the Atlantic coast, to the border town of Luau, Moxico province.
Currently, the main source of income of the Lobito Corridor is based on the transport of mineral products from the exploration in the Copperbelt region (including DRCongo and Zambia) downstream (Luau/Lobito) for export to the international market.
The transport of fuels in the Lobito/Luau direction, in order to supply the import needs for national consumption in Zambia and DRCongo, as well as the general cargo transport service of essentially regional scope between the main commercial exchange points along the extension of the corridor, are also sources of income for the Benguela Railroad.