Main exporters to Angola see sharp rise in sales

8 October 2007

Luanda, Angola, 8 Oct – Growth of the Angolan market is sufficient this year for all of its main exporters – Portugal, South Africa, Brazil, Spain and China – to post strong growth in sales to Angola.

The biggest increase is being seen by Portugal, which from January to June exported 40 percent more than in the same period of last year – a total of 916.4 million euros – which has boosted its position as Angol’s main sourec of imports.

In the opposite direction, according to Portugal’s National Statistics Institute, Angola’s exports to Portugal have risen 28,560 percent, to an all time high of 215.8 million euros, mainly due to the sale of oil products.

However, growth in Portuguese exports may be exceeded by those of China, if the rate of growth posted last year is maintained, although official figures have yet to be published.

In 2006 Chinese exports to Angola rose by 139 percent against the previous year, to US$894.2 (631 million euros), making the Asian giant one of the main origins of Angolan imports.

Brazil also saw its exports to Angola rise by 41 percent year on year for the period between January and August, to US$661 million, according to figures from Brazil’s Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Ministry.

Traditionally, the main export products from Brazil to Angola have been cane, beet and sucrose sugars, gasoline and iron and steel piping for oil and gas pipelines.

Slightly lower growth, in comparison with the remaining countries, has been seen 2.4 billion rand (250 million euros) at the end of June.

In the first six months of the year trade Angola imported products from Spain totalling 95.5 million euros, or 35 percent more than in the same period of 2006, according to figures from the Spanish institute for foreign trade (ICEX).

Strong growth in foreign trade, which has contributed to record figures for Angola’s customs services is related to strong growth of Angola’s economy, which this year is expected to post GDP growth of 31 percent, according to forecasts from the International Monetary Fund.

In its most recent analysis of Angola, the IMF pointed to “favorable prospects,” in the medium term and gave a positive evaluation of the Angolan economy since the end of the civil war, noting the importance of oil and diamond revenues were having on the reconstruction process, as well as highlighting the role of the re-launch of the non-oil sector.

At the same time, Universidade Católica has published a study in which the Angolan economy is forecast to be the second-largest in sub-Saharan Africa by 2010, and could even overtake Nigeria.

Within three years, the study showed, Angola’s grow domestic product (GDP) is expected to rise to US$95 billion and per capita GDP to US$5,000, with inflation and unemployment as the biggest problems for the country’s authorities.

“The strong rate of growth of GDP, bolstered by the dynamism of the exporting sector, but also by the efforts to sustain growth, are recognized by several international bodies,” said Portuguese bank BPI in its latest research on Angola, Published in July.

“Of the reports published by the main international organisations, particularly the IMF, it can be concluded that there is a climate of optimism in relation to the Angolan economy, with some surprise at the Angolan authorities’ capacity to make efforts to make use of the favourable economic climate to rebuild infrastructures and improve the social conditions of the population,”: BPI said.

According to the team of economists at BPI, headed by Cristina Casalinho, “structural reforms are moving ahead, despite this being at too slow a rate, in the opinion of some,” but it is clear that, “some signs are pointing to increased dynamism of the economy.” (macauhub)