Ver Angola


Chinese investment in Angola has more than doubled since 2020

Chinese investment in Angola has more than doubled since 2020, with an improvement in trade as well, reflecting a “consistent” relationship that will be revitalized with the visit of the Chinese Foreign Minister to the country.

: Lusa

In an interview with Lusa news agency, on the day that Angola and China celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations, the president of the Angola-China Chamber of Commerce (CAC), Luís Cupenala, considered that relations between the two countries were established for mutual benefit and they have been consistent.

The event coincides with the arrival of the Chinese Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, to Angola, a country on his itinerary of visits to Africa.

Cupenala described 2022 as a "good year" in terms of trade partnerships, with exchanges between the two countries reaching around 23 billion dollars by October, while the flow of Chinese private investment more than doubled between 2020 and 2022, going from 125 million dollars in 2020 to 295 million dollars last year.

Investment stock stood at 24 billion dollars, including the oil sector.

"Improvement is constant, despite the difficulties the world is experiencing", stressed the businessman, highlighting the dynamics of the private sector, with Chinese companies in key sectors of the Angolan economy, which should not undergo significant changes, despite the international situation and the uncertainties about covid-19.

"In 2020, we did not know [the disease], the answers that were found to deal with the matter were very complex", he admitted, adding that today there is more "maturity" in the way the pandemic is faced, adopting "measures palliative measures to mitigate the risk".

Regarding the Qin Gang's visit to Luanda, he said that it expresses China's positioning in the world, in Africa and in Angola, "a strategic partner of China", being "a way of revitalizing the relations that China wants to build with Africa" and, in the case of Angola, a milestone of the 40th anniversary of relations between the two countries that demands a "permanent dialogue".

"I think this visit will allow revisiting the cooperation agenda, improving points of view and changing the cooperation framework in some points", helping to reflect on the benefits of a relationship over four decades and adding value to processes of Angola's diversification and industrialization, he said.

All this needs a concerted agenda, he noted, adding that the Chinese experience should be used to transform Angola "into a prosperous country where each citizen, according to his potential, can make his achievements.

The businessman stressed that Angola needs "sound cooperation" with countries that bring financial resources and human capital, 'know-how' and technology, to transform its resources into goods and services, and rejects imbalances in China's relationship with countries Africans.

"Each country has its own vision" and African countries are "sovereign and choose the relationships that most benefit their countries", said the leader of the CAC, adding that in a world of "a lot of competition" messages are used to create "a state psychological" unfavorable or favorable to certain countries.

"They are jealousy. The world has many 'players' and Africa is a continent with many riches", he commented.

"I don't think that independent countries, with sovereignty, with very well-structured visions, feel colonized by other countries. Contracts are defined, negotiated in proportion to common benefits," he said.

Furthermore, the lack of transparency in the content of contracts is not a problem for the Chinese, but for African leaders, "who need to be very patriotic and love their countries".

"The problem is not China, nor Europe, nor America, the problem is how relations should be structured. We cannot blame other people for the bad management of my house, we must organize ourselves so that those who come respect what we have as an identity in our own house. If we don't have that, relationships can be problematic", he commented.

He downplayed, on the other hand, Angola's heavy debt to China, recalling the financial support that this country gave, at the end of the war, for national reconstruction.

"It is a debt that exists and whoever owes it, must pay it. Angola is servicing the debt, we do not see what problem it can bring to Angola, unless there is a 'default'", he shot.

Regarding the court cases linked to Chinese companies that allegedly involved embezzlement, such as those involving former vice-president Manuel Vicente and the Chinese company CIF, he underlined that corruption problems are handed over to justice and do not affect relations between two countries.

Hundreds of Chinese companies currently operate in Angola, many of them grouped in the seven existing business associations, linked to their provinces of origin.

According to the association leader, some of the problems associated with Chinese companies in Angola, for which the CAC has carried out a diagnosis and is providing legal and financial assistance, relate to lack of knowledge of the law, while labor conflicts result essentially from "issues cultural".

However, there is commitment to improving working conditions and wages and Chinese business leaders are "very flexible to cooperate", as they have a long-term interest in Angola.

The CAC is also collecting data on the number of workers these companies employ, but Luís Cupenala, said that, in general, they employ little Chinese labor because they understand that "it is necessary to transfer knowledge, technology and 'know how' to the Angolans".

Construction, real estate, agriculture and agro-industry, extractive industry, electrical equipment manufacturing, telecommunications and health are some of the dominant areas of Chinese investment in Angola.


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