Angola: Business visas for South Africans to be easier to obtain

Angola eased visa restrictions by offering multiple-entry visas to South African businesses to enter commercial ventures in Angola.

Published: 2010/12/15 06:53:24 AM
BUSINESS was the biggest winner during the two-day official state visit by Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, which ends today.

Mr dos Santos, who met President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria yesterday, eased visa restrictions by offering multiple-entry visas to South African businesses to enter commercial ventures in Angola.

“Our interior and external relations ministries are discussing with your (SA’s) home affairs department how to effect these visa regulation changes,” Mr dos Santos said.

The move to relax visa restrictions between the two countries is an attempt to improve relations that had cooled .

In addition to the visa waiver , South African business urged SA to move faster in persuading Angola to enforce an agreement on investment and the protection of business interests.

The bilateral agreement — which was signed five years ago between the two nations — has not yet been implemented.

Roger Ballard-Tremeer , honorary CE of the SA-Angola Chamber of Commerce, said the agreement would protect investment projects of South African businesses in the event of civil unrest in Angola.

More than 100 South African companies operate in Angola in industries such as engineering, retail , construction, aviation and logistics.

Mining, infrastructure development, energy, agriculture, trade and investment projects were discussed at yesterday’s meeting.

Angola one of the continent’s biggest oil-producing countries, enjoys a trade surplus with SA, the latest figures from the Department of Trade and Industry indicate.

Exports to SA that are largely from the petroleum sector amounted to R12bn last year.

SA registered R5,5bn in export revenue in the corresponding year.

Mr dos Santos is on his first state visit to SA, after more than a decade of shunning invitations to visit the country .

His anger was fuelled in part by his suspicions that post-apartheid SA was giving preferential treatment to the Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi.

Mr Savimbi was killed in 2002 by Angolan armed forces.

After his inauguration last year Mr Zuma undertook his first international visit to Angola in his quest to bring relations on to a more cordial footing .

Mr Zuma yesterday confirmed the appointment — with immediate effect — of the chief of the defence force, Gen Godfrey Ngwenya, as ambassador-designate to Angola.



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