Angola: Interview with Mr. Carlos Alberto Simoes Ferreira

Mr. Carlos Alberto Simoes Ferreira

President (FILDA, Feira Internacional de Luanda)

Mr. Carlos Alberto Simoes Ferreira

In this 18th edition of the FILDA could you briefly remind our readers what the FILDA was made for and how it has developed since the first edition?

As you know, Angola has been independent for about 25 years, and during this period we have organised 18 editions of International Fairs. They had a very small dimension at the beginning; only one stand was used. Fortunately, at the end of this edition we are considering to enlarge our infrastructures. A large number of international participants could not join us this year due to a lack of space. In other words, we have not only developed quantitatively, we have done so qualitatively as well.

To which group belonged the countries that wanted to participate this year? Are they richer countries, poorer...?

There has been a certain diversification of the different areas of the world in the last 8 editions. From Europe, Portugal and Spain were our major participants before Germany joined us. Also, countries from Austral Africa have been having a broad participation. The oil sector is always very well represented. Besides SONANGOL, we have the participation of American, French and English oil enterprises. This year brought us the participation of 150 Angolan enterprises and 170 foreigner enterprises.

Have you made any improvements this year as a response to the feedback you received from expositors last year?

This is the second edition of the FILDA that is organised by the EXPO and our goal is to improve our organisation every year. We plan to improve our leisure areas, build one or two more stands as well as make a joint venture with those who are interested. We have agreements with the Government to open a business centre, where any foreigner businessman can have information and orientation regarding economy, finances, the National Bank and other business institutions. This will be organised in November for the second typical fair we have in Luanda.

Can you tell us a little about this other fair?

We hold 2 important fairs in Luanda; we organise FILDA, which has an international nature, and we also organise FENAPRO, which has a national nature regardless of some international participants who join us. About 500 national enterprises are presented. Economy is not the only matter this fair is all about: each province displays its cultural potentialities as well, making this fair a very rich and interesting event.

Have you been able to quantify the results of the FILDA so far?

The FILDA generates highly positive results. To give you an example, 15,000 people visited the stands last weekend, without mentioning the expositor's guests. Nevertheless, we cannot yet count on income from FENAPRO because it is still sponsored by the Government, but our expectations are very high.

How do you describe the Angolan possibilities to become a global business actor as compared to the neighbouring countries?

We have the following slogan: "the FILDA is a door to Africa and a window to the world". This fair is acquiring a deep global nature because many transactions are made here among our Angolan participants and the foreign companies, sometimes among the foreign companies themselves. In addition to that, we strive to improve our marketing. Presently, the Provincial Governors come to the FILDA to advertise their economical programs and attract investors as a measure to provide investors with as much information as possible.

Have you ever quantified the total amount of money contracted during this exposition?

It varies. We have had some occasions where the amount in business transactions went beyond $100,000,000 USD. Oil transactions can involve higher amounts.

Which country would you like to see participate in the FILDA next year?

I would like to get a more active participation from the USA because they have more to show than oil and Coca cola. A more active participation from France would also be welcome. Furthermore, I would like to see more from countries from the East because they are starting to define their economy and because what we saw here from Russia was very modest. Also, I long for the participation from countries from Asia, mainly from China since there is a very broad presence of their products on our market.
We will try to broadcast our fair as much as possible so that there is the amount of attendance we wish. Our annual holidays plan will be published so that partners and investors can plan their participation in advance.

What would say to our readers and investors working in Angola as far as the FILDA and future projects are concerned?

Angola is a country with great potentialities. We always tell businessmen that we are living through a very difficult time because the long-sought state of peace is being hard to achieve. However, this is the moment where we invite all of you to participate in the rebuild of the country, the moment we seize to tell you that Angola has more to offer you than war, hunger and destruction. We cannot develop without investments or capital. I invite you to come and work with us for only thus will you know and understand our reality.