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Frederico Manuel dos Santos e Silva Cardoso

ANGOLA - Diplomacy

Frederico Manuel dos Santos e Silva Cardoso

Ambassador of the Republic of Angola, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman

Bio

Frederico Manuel dos Santos e Silva Cardoso holds a degree in international law from Central University of Las Villas in the Republic of Cuba. His career includes the positions of Diplomatic Assistant (counsellor) to the President of the Republic of Angola, Director of the Secretary of the government of Angola’s Council of Ministers, Deputy Minister for Education and Culture, elected member of the National Assembly, Minister of State and Chief of Staff of the President of Angola, and Professor of Law at University of Agostinho Neto, among other positions. He was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Angola to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sultanate of Oman in 2021.

"The diplomatic relationship between the Republic of Angola and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was established in 2007, but our embassy opened only in 2021."
The diplomatic relationship between Angola and Saudi Arabia has grown even stronger with the opening of its embassy in the Kingdom, encouraging greater communication between the two governments and business communities.
Bilateral relations between the Kingdom and Angola formally began in 2007. How would you assess the evolution of ties between the two nations?

The diplomatic relationship between the Republic of Angola and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was established in 2007, but our embassy opened only in 2021. The ties between the two countries are on the way to a new level, because the opening of an Embassy brings about a different type of proximity, joining both countries and governments. By being here, we have the possibility of directly and personally reaching our partners in the Saudi government and business community that, in the end, are the ones who shape the political, commercial, economic, and technological relationships between both governments and countries. With our presence here, we have been able to get to know a large number of public and private Saudi institutions. We have also taken steps to establish direct relationships between them and their Angolan counterparts and business community. In January 2023, the Future Minerals Forum took place in Saudi Arabia. Since 2022, we have been working to have a delegation from the Angolan Ministry of natural resources, oil, and gas and a delegation of Angolan businesspeople to attend this event in January. Their presence is a sign of a new level in the relationships between both countries.

Mining is in its infancy in Saudi Arabia: how can Angola help support Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification, especially in the mining sector?

We’re at an initial stage of strengthening the relationships between the two countries, though Angola has experience that can be shared with Saudi Arabia. Angola has been exploiting mineral resources, apart from oil, gas, and diamonds; we have iron and have commenced the exploitation of Niobio. This allows us to exchange experiences on the type of contracts we have signed with other foreign companies that have technology and experience in those areas. We also intend to better understand the legislation, incentives, terms, and conditions of different investment opportunities in the non-oil mining sector in Saudi Arabia in order to inform potential Angolan investor accordingly.

What are the most interesting segments for Saudi Arabia’s investors in Angola?

We have a set of areas where it is possible to work and develop a cooperation between both countries with reciprocal benefits. I will start with agriculture. Angola has around 57 million hectares of cultivable land and almost one-third of southern Africa’s water. Angola’s government has been investing heavily to increase the potential and distribution of electric energy in the country, not only for domestic use, but also for national industrialization. We know that the cultivable area in Saudi Arabia is limited and lacking in a constant water supply throughout the year. The government is engaged in significant importation of agricultural products for internal consumption. We also know that they have signed land exploration contracts with other countries to produce and export. Angola also has the possibility of land concessions to be exploited by Saudis. This can all be negotiated directly with the Angolan government. Internally, we have quality products such as bananas, pineapples, coffee, avocados, and papayas. As a consumer in Saudi Arabia, I found similar products but not at the same quality we have in Angola. We can offer excellent quality at competitive prices. There are possibilities to do so that require improved maritime transportation. Right now, we do not have direct transportation routes between our countries and would have to export through Dubai. Meanwhile, Angola is also one of the major diamond exporters in Africa and the world, and also has high quality wood. Currently in Saudi Arabia, investments are being made in large infrastructure projects, such as Neom, among others, all of which demand wood, high-quality steels, marble, and granite, all of which Angola has. Another area poised for cooperation between the two countries is tourism.

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