New Angolan legislation restricts small retail business to Angolan citizens

11 May 2006

Luanda, Angola, 11 May – Angola’s new Commercial Activities Law, which the Angolan parliament si expected to approve in the next few months, establishes that only national citizens may runs mall retail businesses, forcing foreigners to invest in larger projects.

“The new law is a benefit to the retail sector and has no spirit of xenophobia, but rather aims to organize commerce in Angola,” Gomes Cardoso, the national director of Internal Commerce told Portuguese news agency Lusa Thursday.

According to Cardoso, the new legislation for the sector, which has already been handed over to parliament “will not have a retroactive effect” but admitted that, after it was approved, the authorities would act in order to restrict small business activities to Angolan citizens.

“All foreigners that currently carry out small retail business will be able to continue, as long as they have their own facilities,” he said.

This requirement may close down numerous small stores, especially in Luanda, which are run by foreigners in facilities rented off Angolan citizens.

Gomes Cardoso added that foreigners should invest in building supermarkets with areas of 200 square meters or more, and hypermarkets, for which a minimum area of 2,000 square meters is required.

The construction of shopping centers, with a minimum of 12 stores, and wholesale markets are other possibilities for foreigners to invest in the sector. (macauhub)