Angolan government considers closing consulate in Macau

The Angolan consulate general in Macau is one of 25 the country’s diplomatic representations of that could be closed, of a list that includes nine embassies and 16 consulates, in addition to 10 trade offices, according to a proposal put together by the Office for Diplomatic Affairs and International Cooperation of the Presidency of the Republic.

The proposal, signed by the Secretary for Diplomatic Affairs of the Presidency of the Republic, Victor Lima, and delivered to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Manuel Domingos Augusto, stipulates that the consulates to be closed will become consular sectors attached to the diplomatic missions in the countries where they work.

The same will apply to trade representatives which, where appropriate, will be included in the diplomatic missions of the countries where they operate, becoming commercial or economic attachés.

The document also proposes the closure of embassies in Singapore and Indonesia, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Mexico, Canada, Greece, Hungary, Poland, and Guinea-Bissau. These closures are expected to save over US$18.5 million as a basis for calculating the budget for diplomatic missions prepared by the Ministry of Finance.

The proposal calls for closure and transformation into consular sectors of the consulates general in London (Great Britain), Guangzhou (China), Dubai, New York (United States), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Hong Kong, Paris (France), Los Angeles (California, United States), Houston (United States), Lisbon and Faro (Portugal), Venezuela, São Paulo (Brazil), Cape Town (South Africa) and Johannesburg (South Africa).

The closure of these diplomatic representations will allow the Angolan state to save more than US$41.5 million.

The proposal, which is intended to “concentrate resources and reduce costs,” also includes the closure of Angolan trade representations in Italy, China, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, the United States, South Africa, Belgium, Macau, and Switzerland. Trade representatives are expected to be taken on by existing diplomatic missions in these countries and territories, which will result in state savings of some US$6.2 million.

The Angolan consul in Macau, Sofia Pegado da Silva, told newspaper Ponto Final that she had not yet been contacted by the ministry regarding the possible closure of the consulate, which opened in November 2007. (macauhub)