Angolan ambassador to China says there may be an air route between Beijing and Luanda

31 October 2006

Shenzhen, China, 31 Oct – The Angolan ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, João Manuel Bernardo, said Monday in Shenzhen that there was a possibility that an air route between Beijing and Luanda would be opened up.

The diplomat added that the two countries planned to increase bilateral cooperation with a particular focus on air transport, fisheries, telecommunications and public works as these would have the greatest impact on the population.

Speaking to Angolan news agency, Angpop, Bernardo also said that Angola wanted China’s help in selling aviation equipment and training staff.

Angola’s prime minister, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, began an official visit to China in Shenzhen during which he will represent the Angolan president, José Eduardo dos Santos, at the head of state and government summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), to be held between November 4 and 6 in Beijing.

Dias dos Santos was accompanied by the minister for Planning, Ana Dias Lourenço, Transport minister, André Luís Brandão, Fisheries minister, Salomão Xirimbimbi, Power and Water minister, Botelho de Vasconcelos, and deputy Foreign Relations minister, George Chicoty

The prime minister, who will return to Angola on November 3, will also visit Shanghai and have meeting with the Chinese authorities in order to boost diplomatic and political relations and bilateral cooperation.

According to recently published figures, Angola has overtaken South Africa to become China’s biggest African trading partner and it is estimated that trade between Angola and China could exceed US$10 billion by the end of the year.

In the first half of 2006, Angola exported 94 million barrels of oil to China, or 18.2 percent of total Chinese oil imports making it the country’s biggest supplier, according to figures from China’s customs. (macauhub)