Portuguese investment in Portuguese-speaking Africa falls to 8-year low

25 November 2005

Lisbon, Portugal, 25 Nov – Portuguese investment in Portuguese-speaking African countries and Timor-Leste fell to an 8-year low in 2004, while Portuguese exports to those countries increased, the Bank of Portugal has said.

The latest report from the Bank of Portugal shows that last year Portuguese companies invested 47.8 million euros in Portuguese-speaking African countries and Timor-Leste, around a fifth off the amount invested in 2000, the lowest amount since 1996 (41 million euros).

Angola was the main investment destination, representing over half of the total, and with the greatest percentage invested in financial activities. Mozambique accounted for 28% of investment, followed by Cape Verde (11.4%), Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe and Timor-Leste.

Financial activities accounted for 38% of the total invested in this group of countries, followed by real estate activities (30%) and manufacturing industry (12.6%).

Retraction of investment particularly affected the construction industry in Angola and financial services in Mozambique.

Portugal recorded a trade surplus with the countries of 870 million euros with imports from them falling by 22.5% to 40.6 million euros and exports up by 2.3% to 910.5 million euros.

Angola was the biggest buyer of Portuguese products while Mozambique was the country which exported most goods to Portugal.

According to Bank of Portugal figures the debt owed by the six countries to Portugal totaled USD 1.179 billion at the end of 2004, 119 million less than at the end of the previous year following a debt restructuring agreement with Angola.

The total debt excludes the USD 2.89 billion owed to Portugal by the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam, a third of which will be paid within the next few years as part of the agreement to transfer control of the dam to Mozambique. (macauhub)