Trade between Angola and China will fall by 20% this year compared to 2022, a result influenced by the global financial crisis, the president of the Angola-China Chamber of Commerce said on Wednesday in Luanda.
Luís Cupenala was speaking to the press on the sidelines of the international conference “Paths to Development: Studies and Practices in China and Angola”, organised by the Catholic University of Angola and the Chinese diplomatic representation in Angola.
According to Luís Cupenala, in 2022 trade between the two countries totalled US$27.3 billion (€24.8 billion), and this year’s statistics show that by October the figure had reached US$18 billion (€16.4 billion).
“There is a decrease, I think as a result of the international financial crisis that is affecting all markets, a decrease of around 20%, which is extremely worrying, but it’s just a cycle,” he stressed.
He considered relations between Angola and China to be “very consistent” and believed that they would grow even deeper, due to the new investments being made by private companies.
Luís Cupenala also said that Angola needed to diversify its economy, investing above all in the agricultural sector, rather than continuing to depend on oil, the main export product for China.
Chinese investments in Angola are “very large,” he emphasised, stressing that “the Chinese are very selective and very flexible in terms of how they invest.
According to the president of the Angola-China Chamber of Commerce, there is currently “very heavy investment in agriculture,” pointing out that in Malanje province large areas of land are already producing large quantities of rice to supply the domestic market.
“The investments are diverse and there is a certain aggressiveness in terms of investments in agriculture and other key sectors, outside the oil sector, which is what encourages us and I’m sure that as the market gains confidence more investments will also take place in this area of agriculture and farming,” he said.
Asked to comment on whether Angola’s relationship with the United States could influence the partnership with China, Luís Cupenala argued that the African country has always worked with the American government, and the trip by Angolan president João Lourenço to the US is strategic and aims to strengthen political, economic and social relations.
“We think that the country needs a lot of investment and has room for all those who see Angola as a good place to invest, for all those who want to put their resources at the service of our economy,” he emphasised.