During the last decades, in the context of bilateral relations, a large number of Brazilians have been coming to Angola to work. However, it is not only in the number of workers that the Brazil-Luanda approximation lies. There is also a growing interest of Brazilian investors in the Angolan market.
As early as 2003, in the aftermath of the Angolan civil war, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola appealed to the Brazilian government to invest in Angola, considering richness in business opportunities.
The characteristics that most attract Brazilian investors are the language facilities, the natural wealth of the country rich in oil, precious stones and minerals and the growing Angolan desire for industrialisation.
Both countries share the petroleum industry as a fundamental pivot of their economies. In fact, in 2003 only Odebrecht (with the construction of the Capanda dam) and Petrobras had relevant investments in the country.
By 2018, the figures had evolved to values around 458 million USD of Brazilian exports and 210 million USD of Angolan exports.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, Brazil wants to strengthen investment relations. In this context, and on the occasion of the XIII Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), held in Luanda, on July 17, 2021, the Brazilian Ambassador to Angola recently announced an investment package and technical cooperation to be provided by Brazil involving several areas such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture, and health.
The Agricultural sector is one of the most promising for bilateral cooperation and investments, given the recognized Angolan potential and the technical capacity Brazilian agribusiness entities. Thus, Brazil has already approved the creation of an Agricultural Addition at the Embassy (Commercial Attache), responsible for the development of this mutually beneficial cooperation.
Since 2017, the BIT between Brazil and Angola has been in force, providing a framework for bilateral relations. The agreement regulates matters such as institutional issues, the creation of an ombudsman, risk reduction and prevention of disputes, and transparency.
Even so, there are still challenges needed to increase the pace of investment: the resumption of airline connections, the increase of maritime connections, and the strengthening of diplomatic relations, the latter greatly increased by the latest CPLP.
With companies in both States more focused on the due diligence and compliance pillar, Brazilian companies are trusting in the Angolan business environment and, consequently, are returning to participate in public tenders and tenders in Angola.
For example, Sonangol recently awarded the construction of the Barra do Dande Ocean Terminal (TOBD) to Odebrecht Engenharia e Construção International (OECI), a project valued at € 465.7 million (USD 547.8 million) and signed, in Luanda, the 3 contracts for this work, as a result of an international public tender launched. The winners of this tender, aimed at companies interested in the project’s completion works, were OECI (construction), DAR Angola (contract inspection), and SOAPRO (conduct of the environmental impact study). In addition to the construction of the terminal, the contract includes the completion of the refined products storage park and the construction of the ship mooring dock. The Angolan oil company stressed that the Barra do Dande Project, in Bengo province, is of strategic and national interest and integrates the objectives defined in the Angolan Executive’s National Development Plan 2018-2022, as the main platform to ensure the storage and reception of petroleum products for the country’s strategic, security and operational reserves, in addition to promoting Dande as an important fuel storage and marketing hub in the region. The oil product storage project, considered strategic, began in 2014 and was interrupted in 2016, due to the economic context that the country and the Odebrecht company were experiencing at that time. This only reinforces the resumption of Brazil-Angola investments and the strengthening of relations.
Therefore, it seems to be one of the relationships to be taken into account in the near future, placing Brazil in a good position to become one of Angola’s most exclusive business partners.
Article by Marco Correia Gadanha with contributions by Caroline Andressa Costa, Member of the Council of Brazilian Citizens in Angola – CCBA Legal Department – Lawyer of Urbano Vitalino Advogados, partner of MCA Carrazedo e Pascoal Advogados
Marco Correia Gadanha
Marco Correia Gadanha is a partner of the Portuguese law office MC&A. He is specialised in legal advice to international transactions. Marco has extensive experience of legal practice in Portugal and in the Portuguese-speaking African countries. Since 2008, he has practiced mainly in the areas of labor and litigation, assisting national and international clients in these and other matters, namely corporate law, especially in Portugal, Angola and Mozambique. He graduated at the University of Coimbra in 2005 and he holds post-graduations in Labor and Angolan Law.