The President of the Republic invited the prominent world hotel chain leaders to invest in Angola, mainly in the tourism sector. João Lourenço urged entrepreneurs to explore business opportunities in other national economy sectors, such as agribusiness and forests, fisheries, minerals, textile, petrochemical, and technologies.
The session was attended by several personalities, emphasizing the former French head of State, François Hollande, and the GTF president, Bulut Bagci. After decades of pure rhetoric – and little else – about the diversification of the economy, especially in the post-civil war, at least the speech is in an accelerated transformation, João Lourenço explained, during the opening ceremony, the Global Tourism Forum. Lourenco thanked GTF, which will do everything to make Angola a world tourist destination.
“We also want to make all investments that are catalysts for the economy,” said the President of the Republic. “Angola has a history; it is a country with political and social stability. It has a mild climate almost all year round, beautiful beaches and natural landscapes and ethnolinguistic diversity”, recalled João Lourenço, the speech that opened the international event.
In addition to the known potential, the opportunity also served to recall some measures taken since October 2017, when João Lourenço replaced José Eduardo dos Santos as President of the Republic.
“One of our main objectives is to improve the business environment. We have passed new laws on private investment and competition; we implement domestic production and export support. We define tourism as a strategic sector. I believe it is an irreversible process, “said João Lourenço.
Tourism is considered a sector with the capacity to promote several activities in parallel and still guarantee a good number of jobs. The industry is interdisciplinary, not least because it needs services (water, electricity, hotels), infrastructure (roads, airports), and can be a vector for promoting cultural activities associated with handicrafts, music, and folklore aspects.
“Tourism is important as a promoter of development and transforming the reality of localities with a vocation for this activity,” recalled João Lourenço, who promised the infrastructure of the tourist centers of Cabo Ledo (Luanda), Okavango-Zambeze (Cuando-Cubango), and Calendula (Malanje).
The room where the opening of the event took place was full, with representatives from the Executive, the Constitutional Court, former governors, deputies, and national and international guests from companies associated with the development of tourism (banking, tour operators, large global hotel chains, agencies on a trip).
The Minister of Tourism, Angela Bragança, was the first to intervene in the forum’s opening. Along the same lines as João Lourenço, the minister took the opportunity to show that Angola is a treasure to be discovered – but for that to happen, there are a series of policies and incentives to be implemented.
“Tourism in our country is in an embryonic state. But we are convinced that the investment we are making will pay off and that it will be possible to capture the attention of the major operators,” said Ângela Bragança.
She promised that some initiatives would enter the country’s events calendar after a break during her speech.
The opening session of the Global Tourism Forum was complemented by the intervention of Bulut Bagci, the President of the organization based in London (UK). Bagci reaffirmed his desire to develop a lasting partnership with Angola.
After Ghana, Angola is the second African country to receive and co-organize the Global Tourism Forum, an institution founded in 2015.
Companies are present
Parallel to the Global Tourism Forum, several companies, small entrepreneurs, and provincial governments animate an exhibition area related to the event. While local governments try to show the potential of tourism, companies promote their businesses.
The Banco de Negócios Internacional (BNI) has developed commercial actions with the tourism sector and has established a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Tourism to promote the national offer, with a view to domestic development production and exports, as well as circulation foreign exchange.
SODIAM (Sociedade de Comercialização de Diamantes de Angola), in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and with the support of Arslanian Group and APD, participated in a charity auction of jewels, with diamonds exclusively produced in Angola.
The “Treasures of Angola Collection” was presented to the public at the Global Tourism Forum’s commemorative dinner and bid privately during the event.
Six of the jewels that make up the collection were presented to the public, while the rest was on display to be appreciated and adequately evaluated.
Hollande praises strategy
Former French President François Hollande praised the Angolan statesman’s strategic vision, João Lourenço, in promoting tourism as a factor of development in Luanda.
François Hollande, who made a few hours’ visits to Luanda to participate in the Global Tourism Forum’s work, spoke to the press at the end of an audience granted to him by the President of the Republic.
For the former French statesman, “President João Lourenço understood what tourism is. Not merely in the view of visiting people, but in what tourism can provide for the development of the arts, commerce, and other sectors of the Angolan economy. “.
Hollande said he believed in Angola’s potential and “great investment opportunities” for nationals and foreigners.
The 24th President of the French Republic declared that his country’s business community could help develop tourism in Angola, given the capacity and experience he has in areas such as the hotel industry.
François Hollande also spoke of the possibility of promoting and motivating the national business community’s internal capacity and welcomed the pace of growth in cooperation between the two countries.
Hollande believes that the French President, Emmanuel Macron, will visit Angola next year to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the economic, tourism, and defense areas.
François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande, born on August 12, 1954, served France as President from 2012 to 2017.