Angolan government increases public spending in 2nd half

3 July 2015

Angola will increase public spending in the second half of 2015 after cuts included in the amending State Budget (OGE) due to a drop in oil prices, the country’s president said Thursday in Luanda.

According to José Eduardo dos Santos, who was speaking in Luanda at the opening of the third extraordinary meeting of the Central Committee of his ruling MPLA party, state revenues “increased slightly” by the end of the first half.

The President said this improvement was related to the rise in revenues from oil and non-oil sectors, but also to approval of several lines of credit to the Angolan State, which led the Economic Commission of the Cabinet to “readjust” macroeconomic measures.

“The [commission] pointed to the possibility of a slight increase in public spending in the second half, and we can thus give more support to the areas of health, education and other social sectors and channel more foreign currency resources into the economy,” said dos Santos .

Given the sharp drop in tax revenues, the Angolan government has increased its foreign debt levels and its needs for 2015 are estimated at over US$20 billion, including with a new credit line from China of an unknown amount, negotiated in Beijing in June by José Eduardo dos Santos himself.

“The increase in debt was made in a calculated manner and in line with the targets set in the electoral programme [of the MPLA in 2012] approved by the Angolan people. The debt ratio has not yet reached 40 percent of GDP even with the extension of credit lines [since 2004] and new loans granted by China,” said the President and leader of the MPLA party.

Referring to the new model of cooperation with China, dos Santos said he would make sure “some of the materials to be used in public works carried out under the contracts signed with Chinese companies will start to be produced in Angola.” (macauhub/AO/CN)