Africa-Press – Angola. Trade between Angola and China amounted, in 2021, to US$23.35 billion, representing a growth of 42.1 percent compared to the previous year, revealed in Luanda, at a press conference, the ambassador from that country, Gong Tao.
At the press conference, convened to discuss the status of bilateral cooperation, the Chinese diplomat initially spoke about the numbers of cooperation. In the first half of 2022, exchanges amounted to US$14.42 billion, he said, adding that his country “unilaterally offered to exempt Angolan products exported to China”.
Asked about the modalities, Gong Tao said that, “at this moment, the two countries are negotiating the mechanisms to reach an agreement in the chapter of the export of products with customs exemption”.
In the last 20 years, China has helped to build 28,000 kilometers of railways, 20,000 kilometers of roads, centralities in several provinces of the country, some under construction, according to the diplomat of the second largest economy in the world.
Citing data from AIPEX, Gong Tao said that from 2018 to March 2021, 24 Chinese investment projects, estimated at US$225 million, had been registered. In Barra do Dande, Chinese companies invested, according to the information provided by the ambassador, 50 million dollars for the transformation of ceramic products.
In terms of exports, he highlighted the shipment, through the Port of Namibe, of 55,000 tonnes of granite, a figure that, according to the diplomat, reflects the growth in trade.
In Baía Farta, Benguela, US$15 million was invested in a shipbuilding yard that has already been completed and is about to start working to support fishing activities, according to the ambassador.
Gong Tao, relying on information he said was on the BNA website, said that Angola’s debt to China is estimated at US$21.4 billion. “This is a lower value, compared to previous years, even with the debt service moratorium”, he underlined.
For the Chinese ambassador, the important thing is that China’s financing and infrastructure help the economy grow and attract investment, to facilitate repayment.
He recalled that, in the last five years, economic and trade ties have seen “significant advances” in all areas. Tao, considering the two countries “a model of cooperation in Africa”.
On the other hand, the diplomat acknowledged that the pandemic hampered the materialization of numerous projects, “but, from the first half of 2022, we resumed with full force the investments and execution of several initiatives”.
The diplomat recalled that the two countries were successful in managing the pandemic, having given particular attention to the aid provided to Angola in the acquisition of biosafety material, sending medical teams, exchanging information and experience, among other initiatives.
“The two countries managed to overcome the challenges caused by Covid-19 and, today, they seek to identify new areas in which they can strengthen cooperation”, said the Chinese diplomat.