European Union and UNCTAD Discuss Support for Angolan Trade
UNCTAD and the European Union are discussing a wide-reaching technical assistance and training programme for national experts in Angola's Ministry of Trade, worth €5.5 million ($6.1 million).
As part of its strategy of cooperation with Angola, the EU provides support to enhance the Angolan trade capacity through measures such as technical assistance to the ministry of trade, national experts, trade finance and logistics, small business development, and trade facilitation.
One component of this EU support covers "Train for Trade", for which a larger programme with UNCTAD was signed already two years ago.
In this context, UNCTAD is preparing an implementing project. The overall goal of the four-year programme is to boost Angola's capacity to design and implement national policies on trade, investment, and services in order that the country of 22 million people can unlock new trade opportunities outside its dominant oil sector.
"Trade is a core ingredient of growth and jobs, and falling oil prices mean oil-rich countries such as Angola need support to diversify away from oil," UNCTAD's Deputy Secretary-General, Joakim Reiter, said, soon after meeting with Nils Behrndt, Chef de Cabinet of Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development.
"We're delighted to support Angola and are in close contact with the European Commission as regards their support to the forthcoming project, which ultimately will help many in Angola to trade their way out of poverty," he added.
Set to launch in early 2017, the four-year programme, called the EU-UNCTAD Joint Programme for Angola, will train national experts on trade policy and negotiations, trade finance and logistics, small business development, trade facilitation and the scoping of non-oil trade opportunities.
"The EU is actively supporting Angola to tap the significant potential of trade for the sustainable development of the country. On training of the key personnel as one key element of this support we're keen to cooperate with UNCTAD and await the detailed project proposal swiftly," said Nils Behrndt, Chef de Cabinet of Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises that international trade is an important mechanism through which many of the specific goals and targets that have been agreed can be achieved.
The programme will leverage both the growing role of multilateral trade agreements, regional trading blocs, and the private sector too.
According to World Bank data, Angola's oil exports accounted on average for 97% of Angolan exports over the past ten years. But falling oil prices have had an impact. In 2014, Angola's oil exports brought in $60.2 billion in revenues to the country. In 2015, however, Angola received $33.4 billion, a 44.5% decline.