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The Change

The Angolan State remains committed to change the direction of the country and the image it offers to the international community.

To this end, and in order to become independent of the imports that so penalize the normal development of the economy, the Executive has been attracting foreign investment to bet on the agricultural sector. It is in this area that the Government of the People's Republic of China is willing to invest in the development of the Angolan industrial sector, taking advantage of the country's agricultural potential, developing in one of the provinces an agricultural project in an area of two thousand hectares and through financing of US $ 15 million.

Also in the scope of foreign investment, the Portuguese and Angolan governments signed an agreement to end double taxation, as well as other agreements on air transport, aiming to increase the number of connections between the two countries, as well as other agreements in diversified areas such as safety, health, technical-military assistance, food safety or the revitalization of technical education and vocational training.

On the other hand, and at the national level but with great visibility abroad, the Angolan National Assembly approved the Law on Coercive Repatriation and Excess Loss of Goods, allowing the confiscation of "incongruous goods domiciled abroad".

This law is part of the Law on the Repatriation of Financial Resources, which comes into force in January 2019 and aims to endow the Angolan legal system with legal norms and mechanisms that allow the materialization of coercive repatriation, with a greater emphasis on the widespread loss of assets in favor of the State. 

A set of amendments to the Public Contracts Law was also approved, which aims to guarantee a "greater applicability" of the precepts and principles contained in the legislation, related to the fight against corruption and transparency in the Public Administration, as well as to regulate the manner of rendering the declarations property and income, interests, impartiality, confidentiality and independence in the formation and execution of public contracts.

While the wind of reforms appear positive, particularly in the fight against corruption, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU - which provides forecasting and consulting services through research and analysis, such as monthly country reports, economic forecasts country reports, country risk reports and sector reports) believes that ongoing reforms in Angola are positive for the economy although the country remains vulnerable to changes in "short to medium term" oil prices.

From the analysis of the State Budget for 2019, the EIU notes that "reform initiatives are likely to help Angola diversify its economy by increasing domestic production, including manufacturing and agriculture, and reducing the country's dependence on imports," pointing out as positive the fivefold increase in agricultural spending, "particularly important for Angola", and which "indicates that the Government is speaking seriously about investment in the productive sectors, although the percentage of this sector in total of spending stands at 1.6% ".

For the first time, Angola plans to spend more on education and health, with 7% and 6%, respectively, than on security and defense services, which will receive 9% of the budget.

If these figures are confirmed, we are witnessing a real change in Angola.