The value of Angola’s public debt, estimated at US$67 billion, will remain unchanged, “because the government has no intention of increasing it,” said on Friday in Luanda the Secretary of State for Budget and Public Investment, Aia-Eza da Silva.
The General State Budget (OGE/2018), approved on 14 February by the country’s parliament, includes a forecast budget deficit of 3.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Secretary of State, responding to several questions about OGE 2018 raised by entrepreneurs linked to the banking, economic and manufacturing sectors, at a debate promoted by weekly newspaper Expansão, said it was not the Government’s intention to increase debt, noting that the budget deficit had been reduced from 7.5% in 2015 to a forecast of 3.5% in 2018.
“The state will only go into debt to pay its foreseen commitments and the budget deficit will be covered mostly by foreign exchange reserves,” said Silva, quoted by Angolan news agency Angop.
The secretary of state said that the “projected commitments” include debts to small and medium-sized companies, recognising that “the current Angolan economic context is difficult because it is one thing to govern with full coffers and something else to do so when the coffers are empty.”
The agency also reported that the Angolan 2018 budget puts forward a growth trend for revenues and expenses, forecasting expenditure of 9.6 trillion kwanzas (US$45 billion) in 2018, compared to 7.3 trillion kwanzas (US$34.2 billion) in 2017 and 6.4 trillion kwanzas (US$30 billion) in 2016. (macauhub)