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João Lourenço inaugurates tractor and cell phone factories in ZEE

The President of the Republic was this Wednesday in the Special Economic Zone (ZEE), in the municipality of Viana, Luanda, where he inaugurated two factories: one of assembly of cell phones and another of agricultural tractors. The two units are the result of an initial investment of over 65 million dollars from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

: Pedro Parente/Angop
Pedro Parente/Angop  

Sheikh Ahmed Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates was also present at the inauguration ceremony.

In declarations to the press, João Lourenço pointed out that the factories will increase the offer of employment, especially for young people, representing the tractor factory approaching a goal that Angola has been seeking to achieve.

"So far we have expressed in words our desire to make Angola a strong country in terms of agricultural production, but for this dream to become a reality we need to do things in concrete, including having our own production of tractors and implements, fertilizers, vaccines for animals, also talking about farming, and seeds," he said.

João Lourenço stressed that despite the covid-19 pandemic, the country is achieving its goal of attracting private investment, as shown by the various factory openings in recent days.

In his speech, the Secretary of State for Industry of Angola, Ivan do Prado, said that a progressive increase in investment over the next three years of about 200 million dollars is expected.

He noted that the tractor assembly line is in line with the current economic context of the national market, particularly in the agricultural sector, which has been experiencing strong development.

The Secretary of State for Industry also stressed that there is currently a need to strengthen the supply of equipment, which is beginning to be filled with the annual production capacity of 3000 tractors at local level. "This productive capacity will contribute to the reduction of imports, which are being carried out. In the last three years, these imports have represented a foreign exchange expenditure of more than 70 million dollars, to ensure the purchase of about 2000 tractors," he said.

According to the government, with the local assembly of these products the country starts to register a reduction below the 50 per cent in relation to the price of imported tractors. "This differential will allow many more small and medium farmers to acquire a tractor to support their activity, which we hope will bring great gains for the national economy," he said.

The average cost of an imported tractor, with a power of 85 horsepower, according to Ivan Prado, is about 85,000 dollars, while a tractor with the same power mounted on this industrial unit will cost about 35,000 dollars.

Sheikh Ahmed Maktoum said that these investments will promote the growth of infrastructure development in Angola, noting that at the request of the Angolan head of state, he embraced the initiative that begins with the tractor assembly plant in the country.

"My team worked hard for about six months to create this project and we noted that citizens in Angola currently import tractors and inputs at very high prices and that the lack of spare parts after the sale is a common situation," said the sheikh, noting that they also noted that farmers are forced to buy the tractors in cash, which "weakens agriculture.

The new plant, which uses state-of-the-art technology to assemble locally and supply spare parts for this equipment, has also created an after-sales service and showrooms, and is also working for a wide distribution network for customers in the Angolan market.

"A comprehensive center in agriculture has been created at the factory to provide training in remote areas. This commitment will enable the sharing of know-how and technology to local farmers in Angola," he said.

Ahmed Maktoum has expressed interest in investing in fertilizer and fertilizer factories in the country, in addition to the energy, health, tourism and other sectors.

Cell phone assembly wants to decrease imports

Regarding the bet on an assembly line for cell phones and 'tablets' in Angola, Ivan do Prado pointed out that investors are also contributing to the reduction of the import of about one million cell phones per year.

From 2017 to date, cell phone imports have required more than 150 million dollars to be made available, a sum that could be used to purchase components that will later be assembled in Angola.

The government also said that the implementation of these projects directly created 200 new jobs, 90 percent of which were young Angolan workers.

Regarding the assembly of cell phones and tablets, the sheikh stressed that one of the objectives of its implementation is to end the use of low quality phones in the country.

The factory has the capacity to assemble more than 100,000 devices per year, with the prospect of increasing.

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