China is the main destination for our country's crude oil exports and much of the raw material for Angola's small manufacturing industry comes from the Asian country.
According to the economist, who fears a "worsening of prices" in Angola due to the constraints of the new coronavirus, the retraction of the Chinese economy "will affect the revenues of Angolan exports" and will have an impact on the reduction of foreign exchange.
"It may imply less foreign exchange for the country, in fact, China is not only the destination of our oil exports, but also appears in the top 3 of countries from which Angola most imports, after Portugal and Singapore", he argued.
The specialist also believes that Angola's small manufacturing industry, dependent on raw materials from China, the epicentre of Covid-19, could be affected if the suspension of work prevails in the Chinese provinces from which Angola imports regularly.
"Then we may be affected not only by oil revenues, even [on the import side]," he noted at the Centre for Scientific Studies and Research (CEIC) of Angola's Catholic University.
Angola is developing contingency plans and control measures at the main points of entry into the country and has decreed, as of 3 March, a ban on foreign nationals coming from China, the epicentre of Covid-19, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Nigeria, Egypt and Algeria, countries with indigenous or registered cases of coronavirus.
The Covid-19 outbreak, which can cause respiratory infections such as pneumonia, has caused more than 3,000 deaths and infected more than 92,000 people in some 70 countries and territories, including five in Portugal.
Commenting on the need for Angola to close or not close its borders with major trading partners, Francisco Paulo stressed that much of Angola's imports arrive by sea, advocating "strategies" to mitigate any shortage of essential products.
For the CEIC researcher, the current contingency should aggravate prices, in case of a reduction in the import of goods and services, and therefore a plan should be prepared to evaluate the current 'stock'.
"I believe that the Ministry of Commerce, which manages the import of the main products of the basic basket, has a biannual or quarterly plan to evaluate the level of the existing stock and I hope they are taking this into consideration," he said.