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Victor Francisco Dos Santos Fernandes

ANGOLA - Industry

Victor Francisco Dos Santos Fernandes

Minister, Ministry of Industry and Trade

Bio

Victor Francisco Dos Santos Fernandes holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico and aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Academy. Before becoming Minister of Industry and Trade in 2020, he was consultant to the secretary of state for the Ministry of Economy in 2018-2020, consultant to the Ministry of Finance in 2018, chairman of the Global Management Challenge, executive director of Banco Postal, executive director of TPA, executive director of Grupo Score, and vice-president of FACIDE. He also had a long career in banking with Banco Espírito Santo and Comercial de Lisboa.

"Work is underway to publicize potentialities and opportunities to ensure that economic groups and investors act with confidence."
The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s ambitious development plan will help Angola increase local production, attract greater investment, and improve logistics to boost export potential.
Angola presented a plan of EUR100 million to boost the industry by 2025. What projects is the Ministry of Industry and Trade developing to increase industrial production, reduce dependence on foreigners, and create jobs?

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has an Industrial Development Plan (PDIA) that systematizes the guidelines of public policies regarding the industry sector, given its role in diversifying the economy and expanding investments, both public and private. In it, we have the characterization of the Angolan industry current situation, the strategic vision for industrialization, the logical structure, and the challenges to its implementation. In this context, among the several projects that the ministry already has in progress, we can mention the operationalization of the Industrial Poles and the Integrated Plan for the Development of Rural Commerce (PIDCR). PIDCR, among others, seeks to empower industries through freight transport operators, reduce producers’ limitations, and increase, in quantity and quality, industry’s access to primary goods. The poles concentrate industrial units where entrepreneurs can connect with suppliers for the most varied segments, thus streamlining the process of purchasing raw materials diverse raw material and the sale of final products, which involves producers and communities in general. The executive is committed to creating conditions for businessmen to install transformation factories that work regularly so that jobs are maintained and imports are not made a priority. Another industrial component that has contributed well to reducing imports and increasing employability is essentially linked to the production of building materials. This industrial branch accompanied the development of infrastructure in the country and the process of national reconstruction; however, as we have great capacity in the food and beverage sectors, we want this vision of economic diversification to be replicated in the production of food self-sufficiency, promoting that products that can be transformed or processed can exist in sufficient quantity to feed the population and the industry. We are working so that the industrialization of agribusiness allows food self-sufficiency as one of the ways, but not the only one, to increase industrial production, reduce dependence on imports and create more jobs.

How will Angola improve its industrial development and diversification upon joining the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)?

Work is underway to publicize potentialities and opportunities to ensure that economic groups and investors act with confidence. Our laws relating to these matters are relatively recent and protect both investors and their investments. Work is under way to improve the issue of access. Our adherence to the AfCFTA requires redoubled efforts from Angola in the rehabilitation and construction of road access routes. The country’s infrastructure has to be in line with what we want to attract. If we want to attract businessmen to do a certain business in a certain Angolan location, going there should not be a constraint. Improvements are underway in the roads, energy, water, tourism and much more sectors.

How do Angola’s agreements in the region help it benefit from the vast business opportunities resulting from geographical and cultural proximity?

Angola’s geostrategic location on the African continent is an enormous advantage for us, as, in addition to the fluidity of operations with countries in the region. Otherwise, it is understood that if we have a product to export and there are two potential buyers, one of which is from a more distant region than the other, some agreements will lead us to act in the closest region, guaranteeing speed in transactions and efficiency in processes. In general, the advantages will be bilateral, since both importers and exporters want the transaction to be completed in a timely manner and with as few constraints as possible. From a cultural point of view, it is easy to understand that certain cultures are more consumed or more accepted in our region. Therefore, the intensification of intracontinental transactions will reveal the opportunity to produce on a large scale that which is in great demand by the countries with which we have signed agreements.

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