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Lusa - Business News - Angola: Finance ministry expects to reduce debt to less than 100% GDP by 2023




Luanda,Dec.4,2020(Lusa)-Angola's finance minister, Vera Daves said that the country was actively managing its debt and hoped to reduce its government debt to less than 100% of GDP by the end of 2023.

"We are actively managing [the debt], in dialogue with our creditors and we have managed to get that space to breathe," said Vera Daves, in the video conference on Thursday on "Angola: Structural Reforms for Economic Growth," held by the Catholic University.

The minister was speaking about the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiatives (DSSI), which Angola has joined, as well as agreements negotiated with other creditors such as China.

"The DSSI initiative has a deadline and the agreements also have a deadline, it is our mission to prepare for that moment and the general state budgets are built for that," she said.

That is why, she added, public-private partnership (PPP) solutions are being considered to pass on as many assets as possible that generate more responsibilities than dividends for the private sector for when that breathing space ceases.

Daves stressed that the government continues to work on the reforms needed to reduce the deficit and ideally have surpluses: This will allow us to slow down the pace of borrowing and reduce debt servicing without the need to contract new debt on the same scale.

The Angolan government hopes to reduce the debt to less than 100% of GDP by the end of 2023 and estimates non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.5% in 2021, a clear signal, according to the minister, that the non-oil sector is reacting to the measures that have been implemented.

The minister also spoke of the perfect storm that had hit Angola in recent years, pointing to the consequences of the fall in oil prices, which translated into a reduction in revenues, sacrificing net international reserves with a significant impact on external accounts.

"We have had to implement a reform programme to restore balance and capture financing flows through both investment and debt," he said.

Daves also addressed the issue of fuel subsidies, admitting that they introduce some distortions the government wants to end at the right time.

"Of course we have to consider the moment we are going through and the conditions in which families are (...) we have to be cautious," she stressed.

"There is commitment and political will, but we have to balance that with the conditions of the population so that we are not forced to back down," she added, explaining that the government's goal is to move from a system that subsidises companies to subsidies for the population, like the Kwenda programme.

The government, she stressed, wants to privatise all companies that are below their potential or even inactive, and this is part of the 195-asset privatisation programme.

The chairman of the board of Angola's Private Investment and Export Promotion Agency (Aipex), António Henriques da Silva, noted that a new contractual regime was being studied to make it more attractive for investors to negotiate specific conditions with the Angolan state, as exists in the mining sector.

RCR/IMYN // ADB.

Lusa




Agency : LUSA

Date : 2020-12-05 10:43:00







 

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