Angola to change foreign investment policies to woo investors

Angola to change foreign investment policies to woo investors
In Angola, Economy, Investment, Mining

President João Lourenço is looking to revise policies that inhibit diamond production capacity and revenue generation.

Better days could be on the way for Angola, the world’s fifth largest producer of diamonds, as government seeks to improve its investment relationship with foreign investors.

Angola’s potential as a diamond producer is still largely untapped, in part due to the 27-year long civil war it endured and over poor governance of its natural resources.

To worsen the situation, government policies on foreign direct investment have largely been viewed as restrictive. According to Reuters, despite the wealth contained in its diamond mines, major international investors have largely shunned Angola due to unattractive investment terms.

“All production in Angola must be sold through state-owned diamond trading company Sodiam, which makes the stones available to buyers of its choosing. Two industry sources with knowledge of the matter have told Reuters that under the previous government of Jose Eduardo dos Santos these “preferential buyers” were often politically connected and able to negotiate prices below fair value. Producers are not able to sell their diamonds independently,” read an article dated 11 June 2018.

Now, newly elected President João Lourenço says hope is on the horizon as policies which do not best serve the interests of the country nor of the producers are placed under revision.

“We will soon announce the new framework for the diamond industry and we believe that with this, the big diamond mining companies will return to Angola,” President Lourenço said on a visit to Antwerp, Belgium.

Top of the list of changes is expected to be more open channels of communication which lends itself to more transparency.

“We will soon announce the new framework for the diamond industry and we believe that with this, the big diamond mining companies will return to Angola,” he said.

Russia’s Alrosa is the only major diamond miner producing in Angola and the southern African country exports roughly 70 percent of its diamonds to the UAE.

Article compiled by FBL Advogados a Lex Africa Member.