Today, the European Commission has concluded negotiations with the Republic of Angola on a Sustainable Investment Facilitation Agreement (SIFA) – the first EU agreement of this kind. The EU is pursuing such agreements to promote sustainable investments in its engagement with African partners. The EU-Angola SIFA will make it easier to attract and expand investments while integrating environment and labour rights commitments in the EU-Angola relationship. The EU is committed to boosting sustainability in its trade policy, as set out in its new trade strategy.
This agreement will help boost sustainable investment in Angola and the EU will also provide technical support to put the agreement into practice. This comes as Angola seeks to diversify its economic model, which is currently based on its abundant raw materials and energy resources. The SIFA will also support Angola’s efforts to improve the investment climate for foreign and local investors, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. Beyond the agreement reached today, Angola envisages joining the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Southern African Development Community (EU-SADC EPA) to guarantee privileged access to the EU market for Angolan exports.
Pursuing sustainable investment agreements with Africa and the Southern Neighbourhood is part of the broader EU strategy to step up engagement with African countries through the “partnership of equals” approach. The goal is to unlock economic potential, foster economic diversification, and promote inclusive and sustainable growth. Such agreements are designed to further enhance sustainable trade and investment links between both continents and within Africa itself, in line with the Global Gateway.
Key elements of the agreement
Making investments easier by:
- Enhancing transparency and predictability of investment-related measures, for example by publishing all investment laws and conditions and promoting the use of single information portals for investors.
- Simplifying investment authorisation procedures and fostering e-government.
- Facilitating interactions between investors and the administration, establishing focal points and stakeholder consultations.
Making investments more sustainable by:
- Promoting sustainable development, including commitments to effectively implement international labour and environmental agreements, such as the Paris Agreement.
- Promoting responsible business conduct through the uptake of international standards in companies.
- Strengthening bilateral cooperation on investment-related aspects of climate change policies and gender equality policies.
- Ensuring dialogue with civil society on the implementation of the agreement.
Based on today’s conclusion of the negotiations, the Agreement will now be legally revised by the parties and translated in all EU languages, before being proposed for signature and later adoption under the respective procedures of the EU and Angola. For the EU, it will need to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
Angola is the EU’s 7th African investment destination, covering 5.4% of EU foreign direct investments in the continent, amounting to EUR 10 billion stock in 2020. Angola’s investment stock in the EU amounted to EUR 2.4 billion in 2020.
At the 5th European Union-Angola Ministerial Meeting in September 2020, both sides confirmed their intention to start exploratory discussions on a bilateral investment agreement, focusing on investment facilitation. On 23 March 2021, the Commission adopted a recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations with Angola on an agreement on investment facilitation. On 26 May 2021, the Council of the European Union authorised the opening of negotiations and gave its negotiating directives. On 22 June 2021, the EU and Angola launched negotiations on a Sustainable Investment Facilitation Agreement.
For more information
I welcome the conclusion of negotiations for an EU-Angola Sustainable Investment Facilitation Agreement. It highlights the importance the EU attaches to deepening our engagement with Africa, while supporting our commitment to sustainable development. This agreement has the potential to transform Angola’s energy and raw material sectors, while and to encourage economic diversification and sustainable growth in areas such as food exports, manufacturing and services. Angola is a key economy in Southern Africa and their interest in joining the EU’s wider regional trade agreement (SADC EPA) will help to consolidate the regional integration process. Building closer ties between us will support our mutual resilience, prosperity and sustainability.