By far the biggest networking event of the year for CAE, FILDA (Feira Internacional de Luanda, or Luanda International Fair) was held at an event center just off the road to Viana. Traveling to get to the event is like driving through some kind of post-apocalyptic traffic nightmare, but once you arrive it’s pretty much like most conventions I’ve ever been to. There are several pavilions, and anyone interested in doing business in Angola has a presence. Some pavilions are sponsored by countries (Portugal, Brazil, and Spain were the most prominent) and others by companies (dominated by banks, oil companies, and Chinese manufacturers).
We were there to register new clients and to make our presence known to the oil companies, who are our major partners (my NGO helps small Angolan-owned companies win contracts with the oil multinationals operating in the country). The highlight of the fair was the visit by the Angola Minister of Petroleum, who turns out to look a lot like Teddy Roosevelt. He spent a solid 5 minutes at our booth, which is more time than he spent talking to Exxon, who were our neighbors across the hall (a fact the Exxon representative commented on afterwards).
It’s no question that Angola’s economy is growing rapidly, and it was exciting to see the interest in the country at the fair. If only participants didn’t risk dislocating vertebrae on the road to get there…
Brazil one of the major countries participating:
But wait! There's more!
Earth-moving equipment a popular item:
Sweet, I was needing a snag. I wonder if I can tek it away?:
Ministry of Petroleum is Angolan Teddy Roosevelt: