China provides almost US$15 billion in loans to Angola since 2002

7 March 2011

Luanda, Angola, 7 March – China has provided Angola with almost US$15 billion in loans since 2002, but has had difficulties hiring local staff for reconstruction projects, the Chinese ambassador to Angola said.

Speaking to French news agency France-Presse, ambassador Zhang Bolum said that the three state Chinese banks, Export-Import Bank of China, Commercial and Industrial Bank of China and the China Development Bank – since the end of the civil war had provided loans totalling and estimated US$14.5 billion.

Angola, which is one of Africa’s main oil producers along with Nigeria, pays off its loans with oil, which made the country the second largest, and sometimes the first, supplier to China after Saudi Arabia.

According to the ambassador, around 50 state and 400 private companies from China are currently operating in Angola, with a workforce of between 60,000 and 70,000 Chinese citizens, despite the bilateral agreements demanding that at least 30 percent of the workforce be Angolan.

“Chinese companies cannot give employment to 30 percent Angolans, its impossible, it’s not a realistic figure,” Zhang noted, adding that there were not enough Angolan citizens with the skills to work on construction projects with such short execution periods and that demand great quality. (macauhub)