"Last year the volume of Chinese investment in Angola was 200 million dollars and in the first five months of this year the volume of direct investment, even with the pandemic, reached 120 million dollars," the diplomat said in an interview with Lusa.
For the Chinese ambassador to Angola, these figures reflect "the importance and interest" that businesspeople and investors in that Asian country have in relation to Angola and show good prospects for the two economies to continue to cooperate.
Gong Tao highlighted that for some years now, China has been Angola's main trading partner and has been one of the largest investors, showing that the two countries "know how to complement each other and obtain mutual advantages.
Even at a time of pandemic, when the exchange of people and trade have been affected, "the investment that Chinese businessmen continue to make here in Angola is significant," he noted.
Agriculture and industry have been the most attractive sectors, both in Luanda province and in other provinces, such as Bengo, where new factories have recently emerged.
According to Gong Tao, besides a battery and tile factory, a detergent factory is also being installed that should start production later this year.
Besides contributing to the creation of jobs, "this type of investment corresponds to the current policies of the Angolan government," directed at "diversifying the national economy," increasing the country's production capacity and strengthening industrialization, he stressed.
"We also noted that the Angolan government is encouraging the development of the private sector with fiscal stimuli and credits to companies to overcome the current difficulties," the ambassador added.
Asked whether ores are also a sector that captures Chinese interest, in view of the recent announcement of the participation of a Chinese company in niobium exploration in Huila, the diplomat said that this is an area in which the Angolan government "is giving more opening" to attract more investors.
"If everything goes well, if there is benefit for both parties I think we will have more of these investments," he said, emphasizing that "when the market is open, it is free" will bring entrepreneurs "both from China and from other parties.
On whether Chinese investment in Angola could surpass that of 2019 this year, Gong Tao was cautious, noting that "the pandemic situation is still evolving," although the Angolan government "is doing everything possible" to control the situation.
"We have no certainties for the next few months, but, in general, Chinese investors place great importance on the Angolan market and think that with the favorable policies to improve the business environment they will have more facilities, more aid to make more investments and participate more in the economic development" of Angola, which, he highlighted, continues to be "a strategic partner for China".
As for the renegotiation of Angola's debt with China, it is on the table.
"Chinese financial institutions are maintaining contacts with the Angolan authorities," Gong Tao said, without specifying the amounts in question and refusing to say if debt is also being negotiated with private creditors.