Portugal: Exports to Angola up 25 pct in first half of year

13 August 2008

Lisbon, Portugal, 13 Aug – Angola is an increasingly important market for Portuguese exporters and business with the African state is set to reach 1.9 billion euros by the end of the year, Diario Economico business daily reported Monday.

“Machinery, construction materials, electrical systems, food, cars, beer, cutlery and paper are the products that explain the sharp increase in Portuguese exports to Angola, a country that already consumes nearly 5 percent of Portugal’s total overseas sales,” the article said.

In the first half of the year, Angolan orders earned 955 million euros for Portuguese firms, around 25 percent more year-on-year and a trend that will see these exports easily surpass 1.9 million euros for the whole of 2008.

Angola became Portugal’s biggest export destination outside of Europe this year. It has overtaken the United States to become Portugal’s fifth biggest export market overall and recently leapfrogged Italy. In coming months, Angola is set to overtake the United Kingdom to become Portugal’s fourth largest export destination behind only Spain, Germany and France, respectively.

Angolan business ties are greatly assisting Portugal’s economy in alleviating the effects of the current economic slowdown afflicting the majority of developed states, the business daily said.

Spain, Germany, France, the UK, Italy and the US together account for two-thirds of exports to Angola, but all face serious economic problems and imminent recession will put the brakes on growth.

In contrast, Angola’s economy is expanding vigorously and in 2007 grew 20 percent year-on-year. Growth in Angola this year will be around 11.5 percent and slow to 5.1 percent in 2009. (macauhub)