London, United Kingdom, 5 Oct – Angola’s customs reform programme has enabled a 1634 percent increase in revenue between 2000 and 2008 and has also reduced the average processing time of merchandise to 48 hours.
Data from British company Crown Agents, charged with the modernization and expansion programme of Angola’s customs, recently revealed at a conference in London, indicate that this increase was achieved despite an import tariff reduction on a wide range of goods over the same period.
Total additional revenue reached US$6.8 billion, according to Vivienne Davies from Crown Agents, at a Chatham House international relations conference.
In 2008, revenue represented 10.71 percent of the Angolan GDP, “an important source of income for the government, particularly given that diamond and oil prices were affected by the global recession,” said the conference report, sponsored by oil company, Sonangol.
Despite the unfavourable climate, the rise in revenue has remained steady over recent month and in the first quarter of this year reached 72 percent.
Also according to the same source, customs processing times have been reduced from 28 days to 48 hours.
“These gains have been made possible by Angola’s decision to introduce IT and risk management systems, reform of law and procedures, investment in human resources and the reinforcement of integrity programmes,” added the report.
Representatives of BP oil company and the president of the Banco Africano de Investimentos, as well as the British Minister for Africa, Lord Malloch Brown, participated in the conference, entitled “Angola as a Global Player”.
According to BP, Angola, where it operate blocks 18 and 31, is already one of its six most lucrative operations worldwide, and by 2012 should produce nearly 350,000 barrels per day.
BP’s investments in the country have reached US$10 billion and it expects to invest a further US$3 billion over the next few years, according to BP’s Country Director for Angola, José Patrício.
Ted Giletti, director of the Banco Africano de Investimentos, highlighted the modernization of the Angolan financial sector, giving the example that there were already 18 banks present in the country, as well as 19 exchange houses. (macauhub)