China’s Li Pledges to Boost Investment in Angola During VisitColin McClelland and Manuel Soque
China and Angola plan to sign a range of agreements including in the fields of energy, finance and manufacturing, Premier Li Keqiang said after meeting President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.
Li wrapped up his two-day visit to the southwest African country by donating 180 million yuan ($29 million) in aid, calling for partnerships between Chinese and Angolan aviation companies in regional flights and encouraging more cooperation in planning and development. Angola’s Ministry of Transport agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese company to build “mega-infrastructures” in the country, he said.
“Angola is a credible partner,” Li told reporters today at the presidential palace in Luanda, the capital. “Angola has the biggest Chinese community and number of companies from China in Africa.”
Deals between the two nations are expected to reach billions of dollars as Angola continues to rebuild after a 27-year civil war ended in 2002. China was the first foreign power after the conflict to offer unconditional loans, which were backed by oil output from Africa’s second-largest producer, after Nigeria.
“China helped us to fight against colonialism and is now supporting us rebuilding our country,” Dos Santos said. “We would like to receive more loans from China.”
Angola pumped about 1.54 million barrels of oil a day last month, and sells about half its output to China. Saudi Arabia supplies the most oil to the Asian country.
Li and his 129-member delegation head today to Kenya, their last visit on a four-nation tour of Africa that included Ethiopia and Nigeria.
“Africa remains a low priority for Chinese policy makers currently, but not so for African governments who keenly seek Chinese trade and investment,” Alex Vines, head of the Africa Program at Chatham House in London, said in a May 6 report. “China was the largest importer of crude oil from Angola in 2013 and is one of only four strategic partners that Angola maintains.”