Angola – Freight Forwarder’s Role given a boost

Avenida Marginal, Luanda, Angola

Avenida Marginal, Luanda, Angola

The current activity conducted by forwarding agents is not only limited to inter-mediating the foreign trade or deal with the clearance of goods at customs ports, said Tuesday the economist Osvaldo Luis da Silva.

Speaking to ANGOP on the role of forwarding agents in domestic economy, the economist spoke of the need for the agent to know the entire services chain of operators with whom they work. He stressed that the forwarding agents facilitate, through the service they provide, the relationship of importers and exporters with customs, tax offices, notaries, banks and other entities.

It is also their responsibility to observe and enforce the administrative requirements and law. On the other hand, said the expert, the forwarding agent is a guide or customs consultant for operators, who acts in the field of import and export and plays an important role in the economy.

He noted that these professionals have contributed to the increase in customs revenue and encourage the observance of customs procedures by operators engaged in import and export activity. Osvaldo Luis da Silva underlined that the Angolan Government updated the Customs Tariff to promote domestic production and sustainable economic development of the country.

The entry into force of this law does not cause any inconvenience to the work performed by the forwarding agents, he said. On the other hand, added the economist, the law has come at a good time and is satisfactorily facilitating their work. Source: Angola Press Agency

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African States urged to begin prioritising economic transformation

2014 Africa Transformation ReportThe inaugural Africa Transformation Report ranks Mauritius as the most economically transformed country out of 21 sub-Saharan African countries measured in its African Transformation Index, which takes account of a country’s economic diversification, export competitiveness, productivity, state of technology upgrading and human wellbeing.

The continent’s largest economy, South Africa, ranks second and Côte d’Ivoire third, while Nigeria, Burundi and Burkina Faso prop up the index.

The ranking has been included within a larger 207-page study, which cautions that, while many African economies are growing strongly, most economies are not transforming sufficiently to support a sustainable reduction in poverty, inequality and unemployment.

Six of the world’s fastest growing economies are currently in Africa, including Angola, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Chad, Mozambique and Rwanda, while several others are expanding at growth rates of over 6% a year. However, much of this grow is still premised on the extraction and export of natural resources and is not being broadly spread, leaving more than 80% of the continent’s labour force employed in low-productivity farming, or informal urban business activities.

Compiled over a three-year period by Ghana’s African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) in partnership with South Africa’s Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (Mistra), the study urges African governments to position economic transformation ahead of growth at the centre of their economic and development policies.

Speaking at a launch in Johannesburg, lead author and ACET chief economist Dr Yaw Ansu said growth was “good” and had arisen as a result of macroeconomic reforms, better business environments and higher commodity prices.

“But economic transformation requires much more,” Ansu stressed, arguing that countries needed to diversify their production and exports, become more competitive and productive, while upgrading the technologies they employed in production processes.

ACET president Dr KY Amoako said the transformation narrative had already been accepted by the African Union in its Vision 2063, as well as by the African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. He added that the African Transformation Index provided policymakers with a quantitative measure for assessing their transformation performance and for guiding future strategies.

Mistra executive director Joel Netshitenzhe argued that to turn growth into an “actual lived experience” for Africa’s citizens there was the urgent need to form national social compacts between government, business and civil society to support transformation.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan emphasised the same point in his recent Budget address, when he highlighted the work being done to secure a social compact to reduce poverty and inequality and raise employment and investment. Gordhan stressed this could not be a “pact amongst elites, a coalition amongst stakeholders with vested interests. Nor can it be built on populist slogans or unrealistic promises”.

“Our history tells us that progress has to be built on a vision and strategy shared by leaders and the people – a vision founded on realism and evidence,” the Minister stressed.

Netshitenzhe also highlighted the report’s emphasis on coupling growth with social development. “In fact, rather than merely being a consequence of economic growth, a reduction in poverty and general human development can be part of the drivers of economic growth.”

The report highlights key transformation drivers as being:

  • Fostering partnerships between governments and the private sector to facilitate entrepreneurship, investment and technology upgrading.
  • Promoting exports, particularly outside of the natural resources sector.
  • Building technical knowledge and skills.
  • And, pushing ahead with regional integration.

Four transformation pathways are also highlighted, including labour-intensive manufacturing; kick-starting agroprocessing value chains, improving the management of oil, gas and minerals; and boosting tourism.

“It’s good that we are growing – we are no longer the hopeless continent. We can transform this hope into reality, but to do that governments must put transformation at the top of their agendas,” Ansu asserted.

He also called on African citizens to begin to demand transformation. “Ask your government, how come we are not diversifying? How come our productivity remains stuck? How come our technological levels and our exports are not growing?” Source: Engineering News

Angola’s new customs tariff expected to increase tax revenues

National Customs building in Luanda. [Photo - Lino Guimarães.]

National Customs building in Luanda. [Photo – Lino Guimarães.]

Angola’s new customs tariff, which came into effect on 1 March, is expected to increase tax revenues by around 23 billion kwanzas per year, according to Angolan news agency Angop.

Citing official figures, the agency said that the figure was a 10 percent increase on customs taxes provided by the previous tariff list, which came into effect in 2007.

The director of the Tariff and Trade department of the Angolan National Customs Service said recently that of a total of 6,651 products on the new tariff list, 2,942 are free from taxes and 1,150 products had their tariff reduced to 2 percent.

On the 2007 tariff list there were 2.576 tax-free products and 914 charged at a rate of 2 percent, of a total 6,011 products.

Amongst the items that can no longer enter the country, according to the new tariff list, are home-made medications, goods that breach copyright and industrial copyright and pornography.

The new customs tariff, which will be in place until 2017, is intended to improve circulation of Angolan goods and encourage exports. Source: macauhub

Angola delays entry into SADC Free Trade Zone

aoAngola’s minister for trade, Rosa Pacavira states that Angola may only join the SADC Free Trade Zone only in 2017.

The minister said that joining the Free Trade Zone would only happen when Angola had finished its membership road map, which is currently being drawn up, but noted that Angola’s entry “remains on the government’s agenda as part of its regional integration policy.”

“We are drawing up a road map and we will see if, by 2017, Angola manages to join the Free Trade Zone, but for that we will have to create industry and internal capacity so that Angola can compete with other countries that are already part of the zone,” said Pacavira.

“If we open up the market now we will stop producing a lot of things that we need to produce, because if Angola joins up now we will have the whole of the SADC selling products here and we will not be producing them,” she said.

The SADC Free Trade Area was set up in Johannesburg in August 2007, at the 28th SADC summit, and currently includes South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. The SADC countries that did not join are Angola, the democratic Republic of Congo and the Seychelles. Source: www.macauhub.com

Namibia – South Africa Remains Major Trading Partner

Namibia flagSouth Africa remained Namibia’s leading trading partner, particularly on the imports front during the second quarter of 2013.

South Africa accounted for 70,1% of Namibia’s imports, followed by the Euro zone, Switzerland, Botswana and China; accounting for 3,6%, 3,5%, 2,9% and 2,8% respectively.

The remaining 17,1% was sourced from other countries such as the United Kingdom, Tanzania, United States of America, Zambia and other countries around the world, according to the September issue of the Bank of Namibia Quarterly Bulletin.

With regard to exports, Botswana, emerged the leading destination for Namibia’s exports during the second quarter. Botswana absorbed 19,6% of Namibian exports, overly dominated by rough diamonds. In the past, this position was exchanged between South Africa and the UK.

This followed a 10 year sales agreement between Botswana and De Beers that was signed in September 2011. South Africa, the Euro Area, UK, Switzerland, Angola and the US also remained prominent destinations for Namibia’s exports during the second quarter.

Namibia exported 14,4% of products to South Africa, 13, 2% to the Euro Area, 8,4% to Switzerland, 7,7% to Angola and 5,6% to the US. Countries such as China, Singapore, United Kingdom, Zambia and others also absorbed a noticeable portion of the Namibian exported commodities during the quarter under review.

Net services receipts recorded a net outflow on a quarterly and yearly basis during the second quarter of 2013, largely on account of net payments in other private services. The net services registered a deficit of N$88 million, year on year, during the quarter under review from a surplus of N$39 million.

The quarterly deficit balance was mainly reflected in the higher net outflows of other private services sub-category, which surged by four percent, quarter on quarter, to N$515 million and by 22,8% year on year. The outward movements of net services was however offset by the increased net inflows of travel services category that rose slightly by 1,1% and 11,6% quarter on quarter and year on year, respectively to N$761 million. Source: New Era (Namibia)

FDI – Nigeria First in Africa for a Second Year

TCredit - Photobuckethe United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNTAD) yesterday ranked Nigeria Africa’s number one destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa for the second time in two years. The latest UNCTAD report, entitled, “Global Value Chains: Investment and Trade for Development”, put Nigeria’s FDI inflows at $7.03billion while South Africa recorded $4.572bn; Ghana, $3.295bn; Egypt, $2.798bn and Angola, 6.898bn; among others.

According to the report, FDI inflows to African countries went up by five per cent to $50bn in 2012, though global FDI declined by 18 per cent. The report noted that most of the FDIs into Africa mainly driven by the extractive industry, but said there was an increase in investments in consumer-oriented manufacturing and services.

Global FDI fell by 18 per cent to $1.35 trillion in 2012. This sharp decline was in stark contrast to other key economic indicators such as GDP, international trade and employment, which all registered positive growth at the global level,” which was attributed to economic fragility and policy uncertainty in a number of major economies, giving rise to caution among investors.

It added that developing countries take the lead in 2012 for the first time ever, accounting for 52 per cent of global FDI flows. This is partly because the biggest fall in FDI inflows occurred in developed countries, which now account for only 42 per cent of global flows. In 2011, Nigeria was ranked Africa’s biggest destination for FDI, with total inflows of $8.92bn, South Africa followed with $5.81bn, while Ghana received $3.22bn. Source: AllAfrica.com

 

Southern African Narcotic Trafficking Landscape

Drugroutemap

See what the CIA’s Factbook has to say about Southern African countries and their role in the international narcotics supply chain –

Zimbabwe A transit point for cannabis and South Asian heroin, mandrax, and methamphetamines en route to South Africa
Zambia A transshipment point for moderate amounts of methaqualone, small amounts of heroin, and cocaine bound for southern Africa and possibly Europe; a poorly developed financial infrastructure coupled with a government commitment to combating money laundering make it an unattractive venue for money launderers; major consumer of cannabis
South Africa A Transshipment center for heroin, hashish, and cocaine, as well as a major cultivator of marijuana in its own right; cocaine and heroin consumption on the rise; world’s largest market for illicit methaqualone, usually imported illegally from India through various east African countries, but increasingly producing its own synthetic drugs for domestic consumption; attractive venue for money launderers given the increasing level of organized criminal and narcotics activity in the region and the size of the South African economy
Mozambique Southern African transit point for South Asian hashish and heroin, and South American cocaine probably destined for the European and South African markets; producer of cannabis (for local consumption) and methaqualone (for export to South Africa); corruption and poor regulatory capability make the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, but the lack of a well-developed financial infrastructure limits the country’s utility as a money-laundering center
Angola Used as a transshipment point for cocaine destined for Western Europe and other African states, particularly South Africa

Botswana Tightens Car Exports to Namibia

2nd hand carsThe New Era (Windhoek) reports that Botswana has tightened the screws on the importation of second-hand vehicle older than five years, effectively removing the loophole exploited by Namibian motorists to import such vehicles.

Botswana’s customs, the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS), is now enforcing the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) agreement that prohibits the registration of imported second-hand vehicles older than five years. Previously Namibian traders in imported second-hand cars would register vehicles in Botswana, from where they would enter Namibia as Botswana registered vehicles instead of imported vehicles.

The process had made it easy to register such cars in Namibia and in other SACU member states, which prohibit the registration of imported vehicles older than five years.

“BURS, in the spirit of good neighbourliness and adherence to the provision of the SACU agreement, wishes to assist Namibia in curtailing the irregularities prevalent in the movement of second-hand vehicles through the two countries,” reads a statement from the Namibian Ministry of Finance’s customs that relayed the decision by the Botswana customs authorities.

However, ingenious Namibian traders in second-hand vehicles told New Era yesterday that the decision by Botswana customs is simply a temporary deterrent as they are now considering using Swaziland’s leniency on the matter to circumvent the very same SACU provisions. Besides the SACU provisions, Angola – a non-SACU member – has also banned the importation of second-hand vehicles older than five years. Second-hand vehicle imports contributed at least N$150 million to the economy during 2012, with a record 20 000 vehicles recorded.

Some of the vehicles have also gone through to neighbouring countries. South Africa does not allow imported second-hand vehicles older than five years to drive on its road network. Importers of such cars are forced to load vehicles on trucks or use the port of Walvis Bay. To register the cars in Namibia, the traders would take the vehicles to Botswana where they would be registered for a short period of time and bring them back to Namibia as Botswana registered vehicles.

The process enables the cars to be registered on the Namibian vehicle registration system, which ordinarily would not allow the cars to be registered for local use within SACU states. Botswana customs says persons attempting to circumvent the SACU provisions would be subject to a fine of P40 000 (N$44 579.85) or three times the value of the vehicles or imprisonment of not more than ten years. Source: New Era

Simple solution – SACU countries should unilaterally invoke the prohibition on the importation and registration of second-hand motor vehicles at all external borders of the customs union. Is it not time for the member states to act for once like a custom union?

Grindrod – coastwise feeder expansion to extend services between Durban and Angola

South African logistics and shipping firm Grindrod has continued its expansion programme, with the purchase of Safmarine’s 51% stake in Ocean Africa Container Lines. Grinrdod gave no details of the price paid for Safmarine’s stake in Ocean Africa Container Lines (OACL), but Grindrod now fully owns the company, which operates a feeder service with four vessels between Durban and Angola, calling at several ports in between, including in Namibia and Angola.

OACL’s former COO, Mahmood Simjee, has now been appointed CEO. Grindrod hopes that OACL can continue to benefit from close ties with Safmarine and the latter’s parent company, Maersk. OACL could take advantage of Ngqura’s growing role as a transhipment port, particularly with Angolan ports. The shipping line previously operated between Durban and Mozambican ports and could again resume this role.

Röhlig-Grindrod, a joint venture between Grindrod Limited and Röhlig International, has also acquired Sturrock Group’s clearing and freight forwarding division in exchange for a 15% stake in Röhlig-Grindrod, leaving the founding partners with 42.5% equity each in the venture. The inclusion of black empowerment partners in Sturrock Group helps Röhlig-Grindrod to fulfil its empowerment requirements.

Hylton Gray, the CEO of Grindrod Logistics, said: “We are very pleased with the merger of the businesses and the introduction of the empowerment partners. Calulo, a partner in the Sturrock Group, already has a stake in Grindrod’s South African operations and has contributed significantly by way of existing relationships and experience in niche markets.” Source: worldcargonews.com

News from Angola

SEZ for Cunene Province

The government of Cunene province in southern Angola, has chosen the border town of Calueque, in Ombadja municipality, to set up the province’s Special Economic Zone (ZEE), the province’s governor, António Didalelwa said in Ondjiva speaking to Angolan news agency Angop. At the end of a meeting of the provincial government, the governor said that Calueque had been chosen due to its potential to drive agri-livestock activities based on the Cunene River’s hyrodgraphic basin and the Calueque hydroelectric facility. Its proximity to Namibia, its conditions in terms of available electricity and water, as well as access roads make it possible to set up economic and administrative facilities in order to drive production and job creation. The entities that attended the provincial government meeting concluded that the existing conditions at the new ZEE would attract investments and drive production by installing factories, retail and services areas. This follows last year’s fomalisation of the Luanda-Bengo Special Economic Zone (SEZ) between the towns of Viana and Cacuaco in Luanda province and the towns of Icolo-e-Bengo, Dande, Ambriz and Namboangongo in Bengo province. Watch a short video on the Luanda-Bengo ZEE here! Source: Macauhub.com.

Customs Modernisation

The Programme to Expand and Modernise Customs Services (PEMA) in Angola, which began in 2002 and officially ended Monday 21 May, cost US$315.5 million, Angolan weekly newspaper Expansão reported. The newspaper added that in a 10-year period the PEMA had led to US$17.7 billion going to the State’s coffers and thus the cost of the programme was just 1.8 percent of the revenues that it had made possible.

During the ceremony to mark the end of a partnership with Crown Agents, a UK company that specialises in modernising public services, the assistant director general of the National Customs Service, Maria da Conceição Matos, said that whilst the programme was being implemented customs revenues had increased steadily and significantly. Matos said that the Programme for Expansion and Modernisation of Customs Services had reformed the institution structurally across the whole of Angola, based on international best practices for the customs sector.Source: Macauhub.com.

Who Will Be Africa’s Brazil?

Will there ever be an “African Brazil”? Who will that be? Angola? Congo? Ethiopia? Nigeria? South Africa? Flip that question: what will it take for an African country to become a new Brazil? A lot. First, it will take governments that do not spend or borrow too much, and independent central banks that keep inflation low. That is, the first order of business is a stable “macroeconomic framework.” Brazil managed to do that, but only after decades of rampant inflation and financial crises. Many African countries are making progress in that direction, but none is quite there. Read this objective review by Marcelo Giugale, World Bank’s Director of Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programs for Africa. Source: The Huffington Post