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Filipe Pescada

ANGOLA - Economy

Filipe Pescada

CEO, Grupo WM

Bio

Filipe Pescada is an economics graduate from Universidade Lusófona de Lisboa. He began his professional career at Sociedade Ponto Verde, where he worked as a client manager in the marketing and services department. In 2001, he moved to Angola to work with Paviterra, a company associated with Mota Engil Angola. In 2006, he received an invitation to take over the financial management of the head company of WM Construçoes, having reached the position of general manager in 2012.

"Grupo WM was born in 1992 as a company born in ​​civil construction linked to real estate."
Grupo WM is a construction and real estate company that has also expanded into civil construction, concrete, wood, and sheet metal sectors as well as agricultural enterprises.
Could you share with our readers the trajectory of Grupo WM?

Grupo WM was born in 1992 as a company born in ​​civil construction linked to real estate. Therefore, with all the growth of this sector, we direct all our capital to construction. There are buildings where we did both design and construction, with two or three of note in the city, buildings aimed at residential and commercial markets. Over the years, we have been developing other civil construction activities involving the concrete industry and exploitation of wood in the provinces, as well as the metallic construction component. We also operate a sheet metal factory connected to air-conditioning ducts systems, making all elements at our own factory. Obviously, with such a large group, all our shared services of logistics, transport, and storage have grown over time. In 2000 and 2001, we invested in our first agricultural enterprise in Bengo province. This is a fruit farm of around 300ha on which we grow bananas, papayas, and passion fruit that are part of the Angolan diet. We also signed an agreement with the IFC, a division of the World Bank, for support with certification to potentially export fruits, and for another farm that we set up a few years ago to grow corn and soy. Additionally, we have a livestock-related facility in Cuanza Norte, Lucala, with a strong investment of USD200 million. On this farm, we produce cereals, and have an animal feed plant producing feed for cows, pigs, and chickens. Around three years ago, we invested heavily in an asphalt derivatives industry. We also have a concrete company called Base Solida.

How is the Adopte um Jardim project building confidence among foreign tourists and investors?

This project relates to the other farm, just next the fruit project, where we grow all our ornamental plants, trees, and flowers. The idea came up in 2019, and we opened the Expo Garden store, thereafter gaining visibility. And today we have laid out a large garden that we are seeking sponsorship for. We are motivated by beautifying the city, and over the past two years, we have had great feedback on our initiatives from tourists. This project has a real and positive environmental impact on Luanda.

How do your partnerships help Grupo WM achieve greater national and international exposure?

We are looking for partners to invest in our farms, having already hosted two or three interested parties. At the Cuanza Norte farm, IFC is lending support for a new project involving a 5,000-ha farm, providing us consultancy and helping with its development. We have a need for specialization in agricultural production.

How do you see the future of the Angolan economy?

Right now, with the oil situation, we need to be optimistic. There will need to be further public investment in certain sectors. Yet, we have recognized that several investments have been made in infrastructure, such as roads and access to electricity; however, more and greater investments are urgent and needed by the greatness of the country. In industry, there are already large projects in place with many investors, but in agriculture it is a little more difficult because the business takes many years to take off. We have had our farm in the Municipality of Cuanza Norte since 2018 and but only started producing in 2021. And until the product enters the market, and all the logistics are in place, still further time is required.

What are your next local investments likely to be?

In Cuanza Norte, where we intend to build on an area of ​​5,000ha. The national road network is set to be around 5,000km in length. We are engaged in designing it and work in step with the IFC to develop the project. Another area that we are investing in is asphalt derivatives for road construction, to supply the material, and our investment in this area has already reached around USD10 million.

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