Angola outlines plan with UN for foreign investment in agriculture

Agriculture is the prior area for investment according to a document presented by the United Nations. The Investment Policy Review was presented at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and highlighted industry opportunities and challenges. In the presentation of the document, Angolan ministers of Trade and Economy and Planning discussed with representatives of Unctad reforms to increase foreign investment to diversify the country’s economy.

The agency says the government has set up an ambitious program to reform the business and investment environment, but identifies some gaps and problems in its document. According to Unctad, these gaps affect the country’s ability to make the most of its strategic location, abundant natural resources and preferential access to foreign markets.

In a statement, Angolan Trade Minister Joffre Van-Dúnem said the document “is essential for improving the business environment, including agribusiness.”

Sustainable Development and Food Security

The Investment Policy Review pays special attention to agribusiness investment and its contribution to sustainable development. The document calls for concrete measures to promote responsible investment and to promote inclusive modes of agricultural production.

Huambo, Angola Photo: FAO

The recommendations aim to strike a balance between the objectives of food security and export development, improving access to land and infrastructure and promoting entrepreneurship and capacity building.

Foreign investment

In the years after the end of the civil conflict, Foreign Direct Investment (IDE) has reached significant levels in the country, but has recently declined and is concentrated in the raw materials extraction sector. According to Unctad, an investment portfolio “more diversified and better aligned with Angola’s needs can greatly contribute to the achievement of national development goals.

Economy and Planning Minister Manuel Neto da Costa said “FDI used to be neglected” and that “created a negative cycle for the economy.” According to the representative, “many of the problems faced” by the country are addressed by the document.

Over the past 20 years, Unctad has supported more than 50 developing countries and economies in transition by conducting investment policy reviews and providing technical support to implement the recommendations.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development will take place September 9-13 in Geneva, Switzerland. With the theme Trade and Climate Change: Bringing Focus to SIDS (Small Island Developing States)