France, Angola sign business deals from oil to hotels

Updated 03 July 2015

France, Angola sign business deals from oil to hotels

LUANDA: France and Angola have signed business agreements covering a wide range of economic sectors from oil to hotels, which are potentially worth several hundred million dollars, French officials said.
At the head of a delegation of about 50 French company executives visiting the southern African country, President Francois Hollande hailed “a movement to increase and diversify” bilateral deals.
Hollande cited transport, tourism, the agro-food industry, water supply, renewable energy and urban development as sectors in which France sought to invest, outside the oil industry that dominates Angola’s economy.
Hotel group Accor signed a contract with the local firm AAA to manage 50 Angolan hotels by 2017. AAA, which owns these establishements, ran into financial difficulties in 2013.
Total, the leading foreign oil company operating in Angola, signed two contracts with national firm Sonangol, one to step up direct cooperation in oil production and the other to distribute solar-powered lamps.
Hollande also said that an office of the French Development Agency (AFD) would be opened in Angola to help with investments and simplify visa procedures.
“I shall also ensure that French banks can be present in Angola to make financial transitions easier,” the French leader said.
“I know that the Angolan economy has for several months been suffering from the fall in oil prices, but we are sure that Angola will be ready to meet the challenge,” he added.
On independence from Portugal in 1975, the Angolan liberation battle turned into a devastating civil war that lasted until 2002, at great cost to colonial industry and infrastructure.
The economy remains largely dependent on exports of oil and diamonds and more than 40 percent of the population of 24.4 million is estimated to live below the poverty line.
Other business deals announced included Air France planning to add a third weekly flight between Luanda and Paris.
The BTP Eiffage group agreed to build 104 pedestrian footbridges in a contract worth almost 200 million dollars (180 million euros), and National weather service Meteo France said it would help modernize Angola’s meteorological network over seven years, in a deal worth $60 million for the first phase.


Getting more women into leadership positions top priority: CEO

This June 23, 2018 photo, shows a general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)
Updated 18 January 2020

Getting more women into leadership positions top priority: CEO

  • Saudi Arabia is focusing on the Business 20 (B20), making this one of the key engagement groups. Women in Business will be Saudi Arabia’s signature topic

RIYADH: The boss of one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest banks says that getting more women into leadership positions is a top priority.
Samba CEO Rania Nashar chairs the action council for Women in Business created by the Business Twenty (B20), which is the official G20 dialogue with the business community. It represents the global business community across all G20 member states and all economic sectors.
She said the council was set up to boost women’s particpation not only in business but also in global leadership positions.
During the launch of the B20 in Saudi Arabia this week, Nashar highlighted the under-representation of women in the economy.
“There is a gap of 27 percent between male and female workers; 75 percent of males are part of the labor force while only 48 percent of females are working,” she said.
She said it was important not to just talk about women as workers but as business owners.

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Saudi Arabia will host the 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22, 2020.

“That’s why entrepreneurship is very fundamental to our task force,” she said.  “The majority of the finance development programs have incentives for giving loans to females; however, despite the fact that many large borrowers are females, the amount of loans granted to them is far below what is granted to males,” she added.
Nashar said that two-thirds of female business founders feel that they were not taken seriously by investors when they pitch for investments. They also feel that they are treated differently from their male counterparts.
Saudi Arabia will host the 15th G20 Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21-22, 2020. The Kingdom is focusing on the Business 20 (B20), making this one of the key engagement groups. Women in Business will be Saudi Arabia’s signature topic.