7 Feb 2014 -Angola’s LDC Graduation Book Released in Geneva

A digital book on the process of graduation of Angola from the list of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) was released Friday in Geneva, Switzerland.

On the 240-page digital book, the Angolan economists and co-authors, Adelino Muxito and Gilberto António, present a study of the impact of the removal of the special measures associated with the LDC status.

The measures comprise four main categories: a) Preferencial access to market; b) Special treatment in relation to the World Trade Organisation’s liabilities; c) Public aid and other forms of financing to development; and d) Other forms of technical and financial assistance.

The authors reached the conclusion that at short term, the graduation might not have an impact on Angolan exports, taking into account that in various markets, crude oil (which is the bulk of the Angolan exports) has customs tariffs relatively low or zero under the general regime of the Most Favoured Nations.

However, at medium and long term, the graduation will eventually have an impact on the national policy of diversification of exports, due to the erosion of Angola’s preference margin in relation to other countries, as well as certain countries’ policies that apply high import taxes on semi-processed or ready-made goods, including oil-derivatives.

They indicate in the book that the graduation may involve other members of the WTO that require Angola to comply with its obligations, in particular the notification of laws, decrees and measures of commercial nature.

The removal from the LDCs list will also impact on the obligations arising from the application of certain provisions of the WTO agreements, including commitments resulting from the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference, held last month in Bali, Indonesia.

The effects of graduation on the ODA flows to Angola, reads the work, will not have substantial impact on macroeconomic aggregates given that they are relatively insignificant in relation to the revenue of the country.

However, it may be noted that graduation may involve the reduction of subsidies (transfers of money, goods or services for which no reimbursement is required) and the relative increase of tied aid , which forces Angola to purchase products or use suppliers services from the donor country .

Health programmes and support for early childhood are not directly linked to the category of the LDCs

Despite these effects, the authors consider that the output of the list of the world’s poorest countries is an event that Angolans can be proud of, in particular the fact that before reaching the so much desired peace, in 2002, the social and economic situation in Angola was considered disastrous.

The print version of the book will be released this month in Angola, Portugal and Switzerland and is being translated into French and English.

In 2012, the United Nations considered that, regarding the economic growth of recent years, Angola will no longer appear on the list of LDCs in the coming years.