The President of Angola asked, Wednesday in Beijing, for a moratorium of at least two years on debt repayment to China and for the granting of new credit facilities or the expansion of existing one, according to a report from Angolan public television, TPA.
TPA, which did not disclose the total amount of Angola’s debt to China, also said that President José Eduardo dos Santos made this request when speaking at the opening of official talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, as part of his the official visit to China since Monday.
The president said that Angola intends to continue joint activities with China in the fields of basic and economic infrastructure as well as education, science, energy and water, agriculture, manufacturing industry, geology and mining, and training of technicians and specialists.
Santos said that Angola faces a serious problem resulting from the fact that the country’s economy is mainly dependent on the export of a single commodity – oil – accounting for about 90 percent of Angolan exports.
“The significant decline in oil prices and the consequent sharp reduction in state revenues has forced us to revise our general state budget downwards and to implement cost containment, reducing our ability to recover economic and social infrastructure and to promote public and private investment,” he said.
José Eduardo dos Santos said that Angola intends to establish bilateral agreements with China to accelerate the implementation of the country’s economic diversification programme, “given our technological capacity and the necessary means that the country has.”
He noted that the Angolan State intended to renegotiate the current terms of its debt, requesting a moratorium of at least two years on repayment, negotiations for new funding agreements, as Chinese credit lines have been a major source funding over the last few years for both the public and private sector.
The Angolan Head of State is accompanied on his fourth official visit to China by the Minister of State and Presidential Chief of Staff, Edeltrudes Costa and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Georges Rebelo Chikoti.
The president’s entourage also includes the Minister of Finance, Armando Manuel, Minister of Trade, Rosa Pacavira, Minister of Agriculture, Afonso Pedro Canga, Minister of Transport, António da Silva Tomás, Minister for Energy and Water, João Baptista Borges, Minister for Higher Education, Adão do Nascimento and Minister of Education, Mpinda Simão. (macauhub/AO/CN)