Chinese government proposes help for training Angolan staff

20 March 2007

Beijing, China, 20 March – China has said it is available to cooperate with Angola to train new staff and to update the working techniques of Angolans, under the terms of a statement issued Monday on the Internet site of the Chinese Trade Ministry.

“China is available to help train staff in Angola, as well as to improve the technical skills of its workers and develop mutually beneficial cooperation initiatives,” said the statement.

In the statement, which summarizes the work of the China-Angola Joint Economic and Commercial Commission, which met last week in Beijing, the Chinese government also said, without giving further details, that the country’s biggest companies would give greater importance to the quality and efficiency of developing cooperation projects in Angola.

At last week’s meeting, attended by the Chinese Trade minister, Bo Xilai, and Angola’s Public Works minister, Higino Carneiro, the two countries reviewed their economic and commercial bilateral relations in recent years and defined new areas in which to increase that cooperation.

Carneiro said that the economy, trade, finance and culture were the most interesting areas in which to expand cooperation with China, which he said was “stable and favorable” and called on Chinese companies to make greater use of the Angolan workforce.

“We hope that Chinese companies will employ more local workers and increase the transfer of their working techniques to Angola so that we can increase our exports,” he said.

China’s cooperation projects in Angola have been criticized as, according to observers, they bring few benefits to the local economy as most of the workforce and materials are imported from China.

In terms of public construction projects, Angola suggested that China help with the construction of public buildings, including 39 courts, 57 municipal administration buildings and 57 police stations, proposals for which are being analyzed by Beijing.

In 2006 Angola overtook South Africa in 2006 as China’s biggest trading partner in Africa, with bilateral trade of US$11.8 billion.

Following Saudi Arabia, Angola was China’s second-largest supplier of oil in 2006, having exported 23.45 million tons of crude oil, according to the Chinese Trade Ministry.

The China-Angola Joint Economic and Commercial Commission was set up in October 1998 and the first two meetings took place in December 1989 and May 2001. (macauhub)