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Politics

Spanish PM visits Angola accompanied by delegation of businessmen from the most diverse sectors

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, accompanied by businessmen, arrives this Wednesday in Angola, a country that, like Mozambique, considers “priority” in its ambitious strategy to increase economic and diplomatic relations with Africa.

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"We want to make this decade the decade of Spain in Africa," said the head of the Spanish Government last week, adding that "Spain is getting closer to Africa and Africa is getting closer to Spain and also to Europe".

At the time Sánchez presented the "Focus Africa 2023" plan, which he hopes will mark a turning point in relations of all kinds with the African continent, in order to achieve a new strategic partnership in which Madrid can lead the European Union's action with this part of the world.

Luanda is the first stage of a short trip to Africa that will also take Pedro Sánchez to Senegal, on Friday.

A source from the Spanish Government defined three objectives that Madrid intends to achieve with this trip to Luanda: to improve business opportunities, to establish close diplomatic collaboration motivated by Angola's position on the continent and to improve cooperation in matters of security and defense.

According to the same source, there are numerous Spanish companies that intend to apply for the program of modernization and diversification of the economy proposed by President João Lourenço.

The program, approved in 2018, aims to accelerate the diversification of national production and wealth generation in a set of productions with greater potential for generating export value and import substitution.

The main subsectors involved are food and agribusiness, mineral resources, oil and natural gas, forestry, textiles, clothing and footwear, construction and public works, information and telecommunications technologies, health, education, training and scientific research, tourism and leisure .

Pedro Sánchez leaves Madrid accompanied by several businessmen on Wednesday afternoon, to arrive in Luanda at the end of the day, starting official and business contacts only the next day.

The head of the Spanish Government will visit on Thursday morning an electrical substation that the Spanish company Elecnor is building for the supply of energy to the municipalities of Bolongongo, Banga and Ngonguembo, in the province of Cuanza-Norte.

He then travels to the Salesian Don Bosco Institute in Luanda, before having a working meeting with President João Lourenço, at the end of which several agreements and memoranda are to be signed.

According to the same source, the two countries are negotiating the last details of a joint declaration, an agreement for the air transport sector and three memoranda (fishing, agriculture and industry).

Pedro Sánchez will then be the main guest of an official lunch offered by João Lourenço before a meeting between businessmen from both countries attended by the two leaders, with the Spanish prime minister to continue his trip to Senegal in the late afternoon.

They travel with the head of the Spanish Government, among others, representatives of companies such as Elecnor (infrastructure, engineering, energy), AEE Power (energy infrastructure), Airbus (aerospace and war), TSK (technological innovation), Rio ( logistics), Satec (Consultants in technology services), Globaltec Desarrollos and Ingeniería (construction), Redondo y Garcia (industrial services), Impulso, Ahen Group (engineering and projects).

This is the first visit to Angola by a Spanish Prime Minister since in 1992 when the head of the Spanish Government Filipe Gonzalez visited the country.

President João Lourenço, upon taking office in 2017, alluded to the priority relationship he intended to establish with several countries, including Spain, and at the time invited Spanish investors to participate in the process of economic diversification and privatizations that he intended to implement.

At the time, he even invited the Spanish Prime Minister of the time, Mariano Rajoy, to a visit whose date was set for March 25 and 26, 2018, who had to cancel the trip at the last minute due to the political situation in Catalonia.

On that occasion, the former head of the Spanish executive had already planned to take to Luanda an important delegation of businessmen from the most diverse sectors, with particular emphasis on energy, water, telecommunications, transport, industry and tourism.

Madrid's economic diplomacy has been making a very strong bet since 2010, following the financial crisis, to extend its traditional area of ​​influence (Latin America and North Africa) to other areas of the globe.

The "Africa Focus 2023" considers Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa as "anchor countries"; and as "priority countries" Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola.

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