Japanese international trading house Marubeni Corp has teamed up with the US based clothing and textile management consultants, Werner International to rehabilitate a textiles factory in Angola to produce denim and knitwear products. The move is part of a long-term plan by the Angolan government to restore its clothing and textile sector, which was severely damaged by the country's civil war, which lasted from 1975 to 2002.
The country wants to diversify its economy away from oil. Government figures for 2015 said oil accounted for more than 95 per cent of export earnings and 52 per cent of government revenues, making Angola vulnerable to the fall in global oil prices over the past 18 months.
The financial squeeze has also prompted the Angolan government to open talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which it wants to help finance an economic growth programme. The IMF said it would be supporting a comprehensive policy package to accelerate the diversification of the economy, while safeguarding macroeconomic and financial stability.
Marubeni and Werner International's work dovetails with this strategy. The Japanese company is working on a contract worth around JPY25bn (US$229m) by Angola's ministry of geology, mining and industry to get the facility in Dondo, central Angola, back into operation. Werner International is presently training the management of the start-up.