Three African contracts for Boskalis

logoboskalisRoyal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) has been awarded three dredging-related contracts on the African subcontinent with a combined value of approximately EUR 75 million.The works are to be carried out in Angola, Gabon and Senegal. Continue reading “Three African contracts for Boskalis”

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SBM Offshore performed well in 2014

sbmSBM Offshore ended 2014 with a good underlying financial performance, ahead of expectations for the second straight year. The company reached an important milestone in announcing an out-of-court settlement agreement with the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office (Openbaar Ministerie) over the inquiry into alleged improper payments, whilst the US Department of Justice declined to prosecute and has closed its inquiry into the matter. This marks a big step forward in putting the company’s legacy issues to rest. Continue reading “SBM Offshore performed well in 2014”

SBM Offshore Reintroduces COO Position

sbmSBM Offshore announced today the appointment of Philippe Barril as Chief Operating Officer (COO) effective March 1, 2015. Philippe’s appointment as a member of the Management Board is subject to approval at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 15, 2015. Continue reading “SBM Offshore Reintroduces COO Position”

Seminar Doing Business in Angola & Mozambique

abd logoOn December 12th SANEC, Atlantico Business Development and Fenedex will jointly organize a seminar on doing business in Angola and Mozambique. The seminar will be hosted by PWC at their Rotterdam office. The event is aimed at Dutch SME’s that would like to do business in these booming markets. Arnout Nuijt, Managing Director of Atlantico Business Development, a Rotterdam based consultancy focusing on Portuguese speaking Africa, will be one of the speakers, as will representatives of PWC and Dutch companies already active in those countries. The meeting is jointly organized by SANEC (Southern African Netherlands Chamber of Commerce), Atlantico Business Development and Fenedex, the Federation of Dutch Exporters. Dutch SME’s are welcome to register at Fenedex.

SBM settles Angola, Brazil corruption affair

sbmSBM Offshore has reached an out-of-court settlement ex Article 74 of the Dutch Criminal Code with the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office (Openbaar Ministerie) over the inquiry into alleged improper payments.  Furthermore, the United States Department of Justice has informed SBM Offshore that it is not prosecuting the Company and has closed its inquiry into the matter. The settlement with the Openbaar Ministerie and the United States Department of Justice’s decision relate to payments to sales agents in Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Brazil in the period from 2007 through 2011. Continue reading “SBM settles Angola, Brazil corruption affair”

Erasmus, Stellenbosch Universities join forces

logoeurErasmus University Rotterdam and Stellenbosch University (South Africa) are going to collaborate even more intensively. On Tuesday, 11 November 2014, Rector Magnificus Prof. Huibert Pols, on behalf of Erasmus University, and Prof. Johan Hattingh, on behalf of SU, signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a partnership agreement in respect of a joint PhD programme. There is already faculty and institutional level cooperation with Stellenbosch University. Continue reading “Erasmus, Stellenbosch Universities join forces”

Van Oord wins Shell Gabon order

logo-vanoordVan Oord has been awarded the EPC contract for the replacement of a dual 10 km long oil export line. The client is Shell Gabon. The execution period runs from November 2014 to the summer of 2015. The export line runs from the Gamba terminal, 200 NM south of Port of Gentil, to a pipeline end manifold (PLEM). The existing 30 inch line will be replaced by a looped dual 22 inch sea line system with pigging facilities allowing for inspection and cleaning. Van Oord will deploy shallow water pipe lay barge Stingray. The project contributes to Gabon’s export of energy and is important for the economic development in the region.

Opportunities in Cabo Verde’s agribusiness

abd logoAtlantico Business Development, a Dutch consultancy focused on Portuguese speaking countries, has produced a practical guide for doing business in the agribusiness sector in emerging Cabo Verde. Cabo Verde today is growing fast as a holiday destination for European tourists, combining political stability, security and guaranteed good weather. At this moment the country receives about 600.000 tourists per year, a number that is expected to rise by 2019 to around 1 million per year. Cabo Verde even has the potential to host between 2 and 3 million tourists per year in a decade or so, which would make the country one of Africa’s most important tourist destinations. These fast growing numbers of European tourists will need to be supplied continuously with good quality fresh food and other products, which at this moment poses an enormous challenge to the Cabo Verde tourist sector. Continue reading “Opportunities in Cabo Verde’s agribusiness”

Atlantico Business Development expands services

abd logoAtlantico Business Development, an international consultancy based in Rotterdam and focused on doing business in Brazil and Portuguese speaking Africa, is expanding its services. A full overview of Atlantico’s services as well as the markets where the company operates presently is available at their website, Atlantico Business Development.

New services include among other things “partner and agent search”, which is extremely important for SME’s when doing business in faraway and high cost markets such as Brazil, Angola and Mozambique.  No doubt Atlantico Busines Development will live up to its slogan “trusted, dedicated and effective” regarding this service as well.

IMF: strong reform and robust nonoil growth in Angola

imf_sealAfter a strong growth in 2013 estimated at 6.8 percent, economic growth in 2014 is projected at 3.9 percent despite a decline in oil output. Robust growth in the nonoil economy, mainly driven by a very good performance in the agricultural sector, is expected to offset a temporary but considerable drop in oil production. Ongoing investments in agriculture are expected to pay off with an increase in agriculture production by about 11½ percent in 2014. Other sectors such as manufacturing, electricity and services, are also expected to contribute. Inflation projected to reach 7½ percent by end-2014 is well within the Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA)’s objective. The overall fiscal balance, which was in surplus in the last four years, is expected to deteriorate substantially in 2014, reaching a deficit of around 4 percent of GDP. Oil revenue fell by 14 percent during January-May 2014, mainly due to a 10 percent decline in oil production related to unscheduled maintenance and repair work in some oil fields. International reserves at the BNA remain adequate at an equivalent of 7¾ months of imports. Continue reading “IMF: strong reform and robust nonoil growth in Angola”

SBM Offshore presents results of internal investigation on bribery allegations in Angola, Brazil

sbmSBM Offshore presented today the findings of its internal investigation, which it started in the first quarter of 2012, in reaction to allegations of bribery in Brazil, Angola and other countries. The investigation, which was carried out by independent external counsel and forensic accountants, focused on the use of agents over the period 2007 through 2011. In summary, the main findings are that “the Company paid approximately US$200 million in commissions to agents during that period of which the majority relate to three countries: US$18.8 million to Equatorial Guinea, US$22.7 million to Angola and US$139.1 million to Brazil.” Continue reading “SBM Offshore presents results of internal investigation on bribery allegations in Angola, Brazil”

SBM Offshore reacts to corruption allegations

sbmLate last week Dutch media began reporting on alleged corruption practices involving SBM Offshore deals in Brazil, Angola, Equatorial Guinea and other countries. The info was apparently published by a former employee of the company on the SBM Offshore company profile page on Wikipedia. On Friday February 7th, the company issued the following statement: Continue reading “SBM Offshore reacts to corruption allegations”

South Africa needs more export competitiveness and regional integration, World Bank reports

saflagGreater export competitiveness and deeper regional integration could help propel South Africa towards faster-growing exports, allowing it to achieve higher, more inclusive, job-intensive growth as laid out in the country’s National Development Plan (NDP) 2030, according to the World Bank’s South Africa Economic Update. Continue reading “South Africa needs more export competitiveness and regional integration, World Bank reports”

Boskalis Smit Salvage wins Angolan contract

logoboskalisRoyal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) subsidiary SMIT Salvage has been awarded a contract to remove a damaged jack-up platform from the seabed offshore Angola. Including the award of this contract, SMIT Salvage has acquired approximately USD 70 million of work year to date. Continue reading “Boskalis Smit Salvage wins Angolan contract”

PROMAR orders Damen Platform Supply Vessels

damenpromarpsvPROMAR has ordered two Platform Supply Vessels from Damen Shipyards Group and this ambitious Swiss company is looking to further expand the offshore fleet under its management in the next five years. The first Damen PSV 3300 will be delivered in February 2015 and the second, in August of the same year. Continue reading “PROMAR orders Damen Platform Supply Vessels”

IMF advises Cape Verde to reign in spending

atlanticoCabo Verde’s economy has continued to face significant headwinds, and the economy is estimated to have stagnated in 2013, the IMF reported. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission visited Cabo Verde from January 15-28, 2014. The mission met with the Minister of Finance and Planning Cristina Duarte, Central Bank Governor Carlos de Burgo, other government officials, parliamentarians and representatives of civil society, development partners, and the private sector. At the conclusion of the mission, the IMF issued the following statement: Continue reading “IMF advises Cape Verde to reign in spending”

World Bank warns of emerging markets risks

worldbank-logo-enThe world economy is projected to strengthen this year, with growth picking up in developing countries and high-income economies appearing to be finally turning the corner five years after the global financial crisis, says the World Bank’s newly-released Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report. The firming of growth in developing countries is being bolstered by an acceleration in high-income countries and continued strong growth in China. However, growth prospects remain vulnerable to headwinds from rising global interest rates and potential volatility in capital flows, as the United States Federal Reserve Bank begins withdrawing its massive monetary stimulus. Continue reading “World Bank warns of emerging markets risks”

Rediscovering the Americas: The World’s 15 Best Countries for Business in 2014

terminalThe US, Germany, Poland and Mexico are among next year’s Best Countries for Business. Rotterdam Week in cooperation with Atlantico Business Development (an international consultancy based in Rotterdam) has selected the best 15 markets of 2014/15 for your direct investment or for exporting your products. Continue reading “Rediscovering the Americas: The World’s 15 Best Countries for Business in 2014”

The Democratic Alliance and South Africa’s 2014 elections

By Arnout Nuijt

dacampaignWith less than six months to go, South Africa’s national elections already fuel many speculations. As I wrote earlier, the big game changer may be Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters. The EFF may grab up to 10% of the national vote (one poll put them even at 12%), mostly votes previously cast on the ruling ANC. That will not cost the ANC its absolute majority, as it last time won a comfortable 65%. But the opposition Democratic Alliance will also be looking to steal votes from the ANC by targeting its (new middle class) voters. The DA thinks it can improve its score of 17% of 2009 dramatically. It also boasts it will take the key Gauteng province (the economic and political centres of Johannesburg and Pretoria) in the process. But a focus on Gauteng, with an uncertain outcome, contains some risks for the DA. Continue reading “The Democratic Alliance and South Africa’s 2014 elections”

Royal HaskoningDHV achieves Level 2 Black Economic-Empowerment status in South Africa

logo-rhdhv-largeRoyal HaskoningDHV was one of the very first independent consulting engineering companies in Southern Africa and later, also one of the first to be established as an empowerment company. Continue reading “Royal HaskoningDHV achieves Level 2 Black Economic-Empowerment status in South Africa”

IMF: Mozambique to improve business climate

imf_sealAn International Monetary Fund (IMF) team, led by Doris Ross, visited Mozambique during October 16-30, 2013, to hold discussions towards the first review under the three-year Policy Support Instrument (PSI) approved in June 2013. A summary of the team’s findings follows below. Continue reading “IMF: Mozambique to improve business climate”

Africa tourism set for high growth, new jobs, and more investment than other regions

atlanticoSub Saharan Africa’s tourism industry is set to spur more economic growth for the continent and directly employ 6.7 million people by 2021, according to a new World Bank report. The report—Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Growth and Improved Livelihoodssays that tourism accounted directly or indirectly for one in every 20 jobs in Sub Saharan Africa in 2011, and is one of the few industries on the continent in which women are well represented as employees and managers. Sub Saharan Africa is outpacing other regions in tourism growth.

The report examines the potential of African countries to improve and expand their tourism sector, and suggests that 33 of Sub Saharan Africa’s 48 countries currently Continue reading “Africa tourism set for high growth, new jobs, and more investment than other regions”

South Africa: IMF urges firm reform

malema2South Africa’s economy has made important strides over the past two decades. Rising income levels have resulted in declining poverty rates, and strong institutions and policy frameworks have contributed to macroeconomic stability and greater integration with the global economy. However, in recent years the country’s structural problems that are holding back growth and job creation have come to the fore. The economy has underperformed other emerging markets and commodity exporters, exacerbating South Africa’s already-high levels of unemployment (25 percent) and inequality, and contributing to rising social tensions. At the same time, Continue reading “South Africa: IMF urges firm reform”

Atlantico Weekly – Marathon Oil sells Angolan stake

The September 13th Edition of Atlantico Weekly is ready for you, with EU-Cape Verde visa deal, Cape Verde’s Best Restaurant, high spending Angolan tourists,Namibe’s airport reopened, South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters, Mozambique’s realistic miners, gas, gas, gas, Beira and Nacala ports news and a Mozambican bond….

Why Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters could become a game changer for South African politics

By Arnout Nuijt

EFF-Logo_WebSouth Africa’s former African National Congress Youth League leader, Julius Malema, last week successfully registered his political party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), for the 2014 national elections. Mr Malema promises to provide free and quality education, healthcare and sanitation, as well as redistributing land and nationalising the mines. Although he was expelled from the ruling ANC, Mr Malema is popular, especially with the young and the poor. That is potentially bad news for business and investors, but time will tell if he is able to transform his popularity into real votes next year.

According to the BBC, Mr Malema described the launch of the EFF as “the beginning of [a] real radical, militant and decisive political programme which will lead to real emancipation of the people of South Africa, Africa and the world”. And Continue reading “Why Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters could become a game changer for South African politics”

West Africa: Bright Future?

Interview with Jennifer Giroux, senior researcher for the Risk and Resilience Team at the Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich.

atlanticoIn five years, do you see Nigeria dealing with its internal security challenges, such as the insurgencies of Boko Haram and the MEND? If so, how would this affect its foreign policy?

Nigeria’s security challenges, characterized in the last decade by subnational conflicts, have certain distinctions but are driven by common historical and developmental factors. These include issues related to poor governance, poverty and economic inequality, and political and economic marginalization across all regions. Without significant reforms and efforts to genuinely address these factors, Nigeria’s internal challenges will persist and in fact become more complex and potentially destabilizing in the years to come. This will not only impact its ability to manage its own house but also its ability to intervene in other regional matters that require its resources and capacity.

Domestically, insurgencies, such as those experienced in the south between 2005/6 and 2009 and more recently in the north, will continue to be a source of instability – not only because they create environments of criminality and political violence but also because they often result in the deployment of government security forces, which are known for using Continue reading “West Africa: Bright Future?”

Angola Beyond Oil & Gas

Arnout Nuijt, Editor-in-Chief of Atlantico Weekly/Angola Business News and CEO of Atlantico Business Development, a consultancy based in Rotterdam, recently spoke to Mrs Maria Luisa Abrantes, director of ANIP, the Angola Investment Agency.

maria luisa abrantesMrs Abrantes, thank you for talking to Atlantico Weekly’s Angola Business News. You have come to the Netherlands to attract new investors to Angola. So, let’s start with a very simple question: why should Dutch companies invest in your country? Well, at this moment getting investment in general is hard, with all the international economic problems on hand. But investors that look for growth, economic stability and political stability can find all of that in Angola. We have those natural resources that will be needed in the future, including water, which one day may be more important even than oil. Water is a highly important item, that is necessary for all development. Angola for example possesses around 12% of all water resources in Africa. Unfortunately, all these assets end up in our rivers and then head straight to the sea. In the case of the Netherlands we would like to get assistance to use these water resources more efficiently for irrigation to end our farmers’ dependency on rain. In fact, modernisation of our agriculture presents an opportunity for Dutch companies. Then there is tourism. We have a 1500 km coastline, that we’d like to develop with the help of Dutch companies, creating resorts, Continue reading “Angola Beyond Oil & Gas”

Islands of Sun and Freedom in a Sea of Opportunities

Arnout Nuijt, Editor-in-Chief of Atlantico Weekly and CEO of Atlantico Business Development (an international consultancy specialized in Portuguese speaking Africa), spoke with Cape Verde’s Prime Minister José Maria Neves.

Prime-minister, thank you for talking to Atlantico Weekly. First of all allow me to congratulate you on the 38th anniversary of your country’s independence from Portugal. Cape Verde has made great economic gains over the last few years. How will you maintain economic growth in the future? Thank you. Our strategy is to become an international services hub. Cape Verde does not possess any natural resources, like oil or diamonds. We have our people and we have sun, freedom and lots of opportunities. Our tourism sector grows by 25% annually and we will probably reach the one million tourists per year mark by 2017. Our maritime opportunities are huge too. With our new maritime borders we will control around 1 million square miles of sea, covering strategic international shipping lanes.

We are developing our economy around various clusters of opportunities. Let me mention for instance the Sea Cluster, which brings together our opportunities in logistics, fisheries, ship repair, bunkering, cruise terminals, etc. Next we have the cluster for renewable energies. It’s our aim to reach up to 100% energy dependency on renewables by 2020. We are now at 30% by the way. We don’t have an oil company like Sonangol in Angola, but we will build our own Sonangol in renewable Continue reading “Islands of Sun and Freedom in a Sea of Opportunities”

The Rise of the PACs: Meet three booming Portuguese-speaking African Countries

maputobridgeThe rise of the what? Another acronym, you say? Well, why not? In Portuguese the countries are called PALOPs, the Paises Africanos de Lingua Oficial Portuguesa (or African Countries with Portuguese as Official Language). So we call them PACs. Three PACs have become booming economies and nobody is stopping them: Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique. Business opportunities abound and the three countries share some striking similarities that set them apart from the rest of Africa. Though they do not number that many inhabitants (all three put together not more than 50 million), they jointly constitute a cluster of very distinct African markets, well worth exploring. So are these PACs the new thing we have been waiting for? How real is their rise? Continue reading “The Rise of the PACs: Meet three booming Portuguese-speaking African Countries”

Can Brazil Conquer Africa’s Booming Markets?

By Arnout Nuijt

A recent article in The Economist gives an optimistic picture of Brazilian companies heading en masse for Africa’s booming economies, “laden with expertise and capital”, thus creating a new “Atlantic alliance” between Brazil and Africa. We hate to be critical, but is this really happening or is it wishful thinking?

Yes, Africa is booming and Brazil is so close and so well adapted to tropical circumstances, that a huge opportunity for doing business with African nations has arrived. Brazilian companies indeed should take advantage of Africa’s new wealthy middle classes, its plethora of mining opportunities and its own supply of innovative products fit for tropical circumstances, such as vehicles and household appliances. But let’s get back to the facts. Total Brazil trade with the world was 383 billion in 2010, of which Sub-Sahara Africa took a modest 3,18 %. Continue reading “Can Brazil Conquer Africa’s Booming Markets?”

Cape Verde’s Unique Aviation Opportunity

By Arnout Nuijt

While the Cape Verde government recently announced the creation of a (government staffed) working group that has to find ways to attract more and cheaper flights to the country, two other aviation related news items – involving national carrier TACV – are worth mentioning. Firstly the Cape Verde press reported that TACV needs 50 million Euros to pay off its debt and secondly it appears that the two newly acquired TACV Boeing 737’s (bought to replace its ageing Boeing 757’s) do not have the sufficient range to fly fully loaded to and from its core destinations, such as Boston, Paris, Amsterdam or even Lisbon. The company is therefore planning to lease a Boeing 767 for its longer haul flights.

The latter is strange news. The most recent types of 737’s should have the right range for serving those destinations. In fact, the Dutch company Arkefly (part of the Tui group) operates 737’s on its Amsterdam – Boa Vista route, a flight that takes 6,5 hours, much more than the Praia-Lisbon route, and the planes are full. Arkefly also uses the 737 on its Amsterdam-Fortaleza route, though with a refueling stop on Sal Island. So, what’s wrong with the TACV planes? Is TACV trying to carry extra cargo on top of the passenger’s luggage? That might just not be possible. TACV is often painted in the Cape Verde press as inefficient and prone to mismanagement. Is this recent acquisition just another example and another missed opportunity for TACV? Let’s take a good look at the challenges that face TACV as well as the opportunities for the aviation industry in Cape Verde.  Continue reading “Cape Verde’s Unique Aviation Opportunity”