Angola: Escom and Chiquita sign deal for banana production

5 March 2008

Benguela, Angola, 5 March – Escom, of Portuguese group Espírito Santos, Tuesday signed a deal with Chiquita Brands International for exporting Angolan bananas to Europe, which will begin in 2010 and create around 3,000 jobs.

In a statement, the companies noted that the deal, which was signed in Benguela, Angola, market Chiquita’s introduction to Angola and Escom’s introduction to the agricultural sector and aimed to export banana’s grown by the recently-created Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Agrícola de Angola (SDAA).

According to Escom’s president, Hélder Bataglia, cited in the statement, the sector has “a lot of potential” in Angola and an agreement that “confirms the group’s aptitude to establish significant international companies from various business sectors.”

“We believe that the start of banana production in Angola is a strategically important step, that will be quite competitive from a cost point of view, regardless of the result of the challenges of the import tariff regime of the European Union,” said Chiquita’s chairman, Fernando Aguirre said.

SDDA, which is a partnership between Escom and Dutch company Hipergesta, will start growing bananas in Benguela province investing over US$60 million, once approval has been given by the local authorities.

Chiquita will not take a stake in the project, but will support it “with its knowledge of good agricultural practices.”

In a statement published on its website, Chiquita Brands International said it had recently agreed a banana production project with Matanuska Africa Limited in Mozambique. (macauhub)