Ver Angola


President of the Republic guarantees: “Relations between Angola and Portugal have never been so good”

President João Lourenço praises the state of relations with Portugal on the eve of receiving the Portuguese Prime Minister and calls for greater investment by Portuguese companies to diversify his country's economy.


"Relations are very good, they have never been as good as they are now, we need to increase Portuguese investment in Angola and wherever possible", says the President.

Saying that he expected António Costa's visit, between the 5th and 6th of June, "the strengthening of relations of friendship and economic cooperation between the two countries", João Lourenço sees in the increase of a credit line for investment an incentive for companies to travel , which he included in the aspects of "economic mobility".

One of the agreements that will be signed in Luanda during António Costa's visit is precisely the increase in the financing line from 1.5 billion euros to 2 billion euros, negotiated in early April during a visit by the Portuguese Minister of Finance, Fernando Medina .

This permanent line of financing guarantees payment to the company in the event of default by the Angolan State and makes it possible to finance projects defined in Angola.

According to João Lourenço, export credit "encourages Portuguese companies to travel to Angola, as they feel more comfortable and with the guarantee that what they come to Angola to do is covered by this credit".

For the official, this credit should be used "at first" for the construction of infrastructure, namely the construction of the Basilica of Muxima and a set of national roads.

Furthermore, João Lourenço pointed out in particular some sectors of the economy in which Luanda would like to see greater Portuguese investment.

"Where we want more foreign private investment is, namely, in agriculture, tourism - where Portuguese investment is lower compared to investments in other countries - (...), in agriculture, fisheries, industries, apart from the oil industry" , indicates.

For Lourenço, Luanda would also like to see Portuguese investors acquire more assets that are being sold, within the framework of the current privatizations.

"There is a large set of assets in the public sphere that we want to transfer to the private sphere, Portuguese investors are invited to qualify for the purchase of these same assets", he also highlights.

And he stresses: "Portuguese investment has not dropped, but we are still not satisfied, we think that there is still a lot of room to grow, there may be much more than what Angola has received".

According to the head of state, it depends only on the ability of the Portuguese business community to increase its presence, because – he insists – "[Angola's] interest has never ceased to exist, the interest has always been great".

In this interview, President João Lourenço also recognizes that Luanda is "in default" with some Portuguese companies regarding outstanding credits, with around 100 million euros still to be paid of the so-called "certified debt", which is recognized by the State. angolan.

"I am referring to the certified debt, which is around 500 million euros, a little over 500 million", he says, noting that, of that amount, Angola paid almost 400 million.

"This means saying that we are in default with some Portuguese companies in the amount of around 100 million euros, this in relation to the certified debt", says the Angolan official.

As for the "uncertified" debt, he says it amounts to around 200 million euros, which still need to be validated by the Angolan authorities.

Another relevant aspect of the relationship between the two countries concerns the fate of Sonangol's stakes in Millennium BCP and Galp, as well as Efacec's.

On Galp's decision to sell the oil blocks it held in Angola, João Lourenço just said: "It is obvious that if they stayed it would be better, but they will have their reasons for withdrawing".

With regard to the possibility of Sonangol selling its stakes in those Portuguese companies, João Lourenço said that there is no decision yet. "If some day there is this interest on the part of Sonangol, this interest will be manifested, if not, it's okay, we'll continue", he says.

As for the fate of Efacec, which was nationalized by Portugal, João Lourenço ensures that the Portuguese Government "did not take any step without consulting the Angolan authorities".

"In the context of asset recovery, the important thing is that Angola does not lose and, in principle, we have ensured that Angola will not lose. I cannot, at my level, go into detail, the only guarantee I must give is that the Angola's interests will always be safeguarded", he concludes.


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