Ver Angola


Portuguese Ambassador in Luanda: Portugal and Angola share willingness to work together in the present and future

The new Portuguese Ambassador in Luanda admitted that the impact of the covid-19 pandemic is "worrying" from a business point of view, but stressed that the two countries share "a willingness to work together in the present and in the future".


Pedro Pessoa e Costa, who this Tuesday presented his credentials to the President, João Lourenço, said that Portugal and Angola are two countries "friends, with many years of relations", pointing out that Portuguese companies make "real partnerships" with Angolans.

"They are two countries that share the same language, history and, above all, the will to work together in the present and in the future," he told reporters as he left the meeting with the head of state.

Asked about the impact of the pandemic on Portuguese companies present in the Angolan market, he said that they are feeling the effects negatively and trying to adapt.

"It's obvious that it's having [an impact], when we talk about quarantine and confinement, the arrival of workers at large works not considered a priority is something that is worrying from a business point of view," the diplomat acknowledged.

However, companies "have been showing signs that they can continue looking for other forms of business during this time of pandemic, hoping it won't be too long".

Stressing that Angola has prepared itself to fight the disease in an "exemplary" way, Pedro Pessoa e Costa said he hopes that the pandemic will not have "too many perverse effects between the two countries", particularly in economic and business terms.

He left an optimistic note, however: "I believe that the Portuguese companies that are in this market will continue to remain in this market and participate in the construction of Angola's present and future, and others may come and show interest in the diversification of the economy and the privatisation programme that has been presented".

As for the question of resuming scheduled flights between the two countries, this was not addressed in the meeting with João Lourenço.

The ambassador recalled that humanitarian flights have been taking place, with the support of the Angolan authorities, so that the Portuguese detained in Angola due to the closure of borders can return to Portugal, but everything else will depend on the evolution of the pandemic.

"As the situation becomes clearer and safer it may have an effect on the return of regular flights, but for that to happen the airspace must be open both here and in Portugal. For now we have to see how the epidemiological situation unfolds," he said.

On whether there will be a need to comply with quarantine is something that the Angolan authorities will have to decide and that Portugal will respect, he said.

Pedro Pessoa e Costa also said that Portugal's relationship with Angola touches all sectors and will support all areas, economic, commercial, education and promotion of the Portuguese language.

Pedro Maria Santos Pessoa e Costa is a native of Beira, Mozambique, where he was born on 14 October 1962.

He graduated from the Lisbon Law Faculty with a degree in law and economics.

He was posted to the Portuguese Embassy in London and Rome and held the post of Head of Division of the Directorate of Intra-European External Relations Services at the Directorate-General for Community Affairs.

He was also Deputy Permanent Representative to the Permanent Mission to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and later served in the administration of AICEP - the Portuguese Agency for Foreign Trade and Investment.

In April 2018 he was accredited as Ambassador to Panama.

On a global level, according to an assessment by the AFP news agency, the covid-19 pandemic has already caused more than 375,000 deaths and infected more than 6.2 million people in 196 countries and territories.

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