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Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 11:30

Partners with long-term goals

By China Daily

Partners with long-term goals
CIF Luanda One, the only Hong Kong-company-owned office building in Angola, consists of towers that are nearly 100 and 132 meters high. It is a symbol of the long-term partnership between Angola and Hong Kong.

Generating jobs

Chinese companies involved in the rebuilding of Angola bring experience and technological know-how to the table, while at the same time generating jobs for the local population. When they had just started the reconstruction projects, construction materials and workers had to be shipped directly from China. Gradually, however, they have helped Angola to develop and sustain its own work force, contrary to the media speculation that Chinese companies are reluctant to hire locals. Available data shows that on average, locals comprise more than four-fifths of the employees at the 400 Chinese enterprises and projects in 40-plus African countries.

According to assistant professor Barry Sautman from the Institute for Emerging Market Studies at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, an overwhelming majority of Chinese companies in Angola ran on the strength of local staff.

Compared with Western companies, Sautman added, Chinese firms are more willing to transfer skills and technology to the local community and the Angolans appreciate Chinese people’s devotion to their development. Technology transfer is vital to Angola whose people had been de-skilled during the turmoil period. Employing people from the local pool also brings down the wage bill and improves government relations.

On its part, the Angolan government has made great strides toward providing favorable business conditions to foreign investors, trying to formulate government policy, laws and regulations in keeping with international standards.

Partners with long-term goals
Some 210,000 units of public housing have come up in 23 locations, designed following the principles of security, comfort and convenience.
Partners with long-term goals
Partners with long-term goals
The new International Airport of Luanda, which will open in 2017, will be the biggest and most-advanced airport in Africa, with 32 passenger boarding bridges and an estimated annual passenger throughput of 15 million. The main runway will serve B747 and A380 aircraft.

The efficacy and sustainability of the “oil for housing” economic model — in which Angolan oil is not used directly for the payback, but as the collateral servicing the loans — has been put to question as well.

“Angola is blessed with many resources,” says Gourgel. “Oil has been the most lucrative of commodities, which fuelled the engine of the economy and financed the development.”

“However, the people are the most valuable resource of the country,” he adds. “Angola is investing in the youth, in order to diversify the economy and carry out sustainable development.”

In the hour of 40th anniversary celebrations of the end of colonial rule, Angola, a country powered by the energy of its primarily young population, is poised to make its contribution to the world. Angola’s potential in the areas of cultural diversity, sports and tourism, says Gourgel, are yet to be explored. “Especially tourism,” he adds. “Although tourism is a nascent sector, it is growing rapidly. The diverse landscapes and fabulous scenery of Angola await the world’s attention.”

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