We are a company that is responsible for Angola and Africa
Isabel dos Santos – We are an investment group. We have invested in many fields, so we have over 30000 employees. So, we are a very large company. And one of our latest investments is a state-of-the-art technology company, which is a brewery in Africa, in Angola. The reason why we chose to make this company, this brewery in Angola, the state-of-the-art latest technology factory in Angola and not somewhere else is that we strongly believe that we need to create jobs in the African continent. As you know, in Africa, there’s a lot of young people and they need to have an opportunity to work. The United Nations Development Goals aim that by 2030, people will have access to a decent job, to decent work, and that economies in African countries will grow to fight poverty. So, for us, as a business, as a responsible business, it is very important to invest in our continent and to invest in Angola.
Shangai News – So what do you think of the Chinese market?
Isabel dos Santos – We feel that being here, for us, is an opportunity. China has already made very good policies towards Africa. For example, the products that are made in Africa, they pay zero tariffs, so it helps us to be competitive. China took the first step to help us, so we are here really to enjoy this opportunity and also to make partnerships with Chinese companies. We want to have Chinese local partners, and to work and invest also in China.
Shangai News – You said you have signed several contracts with Chinese enterprises?
Isabel dos Santos – Yes, we were fortunate, in June, to sign a contract with Suning, it’s an e-commerce platform. And today we signed a big contract with VV Group, which will be carrying our products in their warehouses and will be one of our distributors. For us, e-commerce is very very important. Platforms like Alibaba, like Jindong, like Suning… We want to be there as African businesses and African products, as our beer from Angola, who is a leading brand. We won the Gold Medal for being one of the best beers in the world. This year, 2019, we won the Gold Medal in Italy, in a very important international competition. So, we have a lot of quality, but we need to be able to sell it in the e-commerce platforms and also to e-commerce like Alibaba to help us grow our products.
We feel that being here, for us, is an opportunity. China has already made very good policies towards Africa
Shangai News – Will you bring more products to China?
Isabel dos Santos – Yes, so our company is a big group. We are a very big investor. We invest in Agriculture; we invest in Industry. We’re a very innovative company, we do a lot of innovation; we’re very disruptive. We create international brands, but we make them in Africa. It’s very very different from what other people do. So, one of our ambitions is also to create brands in coffee and also brands in snacks.
Shangai News – Why have you come here yourself?
Isabel dos Santos – Well, I feel that when you work, you have a responsibility. And whatever results you have from your work, whatever wealth you create, it comes from the work that you do every day and you have to be responsible. And one of your responsibilities is to make the world around you better. And the world around you better, for me, for my country means to create jobs for young people, to create opportunities for farmers to be able to sell their products and to help build my country, help build my economy.
When I’m working, I’m not thinking “how much money am I making in the bank?”. I’m thinking “what project can I make? What can I do today? What can I build? How can I help make society, make where I live a better place?”.