Angola is an important strategic partner for China in Africa in the context of bilateral economic cooperation, the country’s new Chinese ambassador Gong Tao said on Thursday in Luanda.
The Chinese diplomat, speaking during a meeting with Angolan journalists, said that relations between Angola and China had gained momentum last year, with the President João Lourenço taking part in the China-Africa Cooperation Forum in Beijing.
Gong Tao, quoted by Angolan news agency Angop, highlighted the Silk Road Fund, which is available to support projects in any of the countries that have signed cooperation agreements with China, with Angola among those countries.
In his view, cooperation between the two countries has achieved great success, with Chinese companies recovering and building 2,800 kilometres of railway line, 20,000 kilometres of roads, more than 100,000 houses, 100 schools and 50 hospitals in Angola.
China is now the country of origin of more than half of foreign direct investment arriving in Angola, with Chinese entrepreneurs investing in agricultural holdings, agricultural vehicle assembly workshops, fishing boat and waste recycling factories, among other businesses.
In Beijing, the Deputy Director of the Department of African Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said that the presence of 260,000 Chinese citizens in Angola was due to the need for skilled labour for infrastructure construction projects.
Li Chong, speaking at the opening of an international conference of the China-Africa community on the “New Silk Road and Media Co-operation” held in Beijing from 7 to 21 May, gave assurances that China, “had never wanted to send such a considerable number of Chinese workers to Angola.”
But he added that Angola’s reconstruction required a lot of labour, and “because of the urgency that was required, Chinese companies recruited a number of workers to go to work in Angola,” according to Jornal de Angola.
Li Chong also said that in the last ten years relations between Angola and China have been based mainly on the construction of infrastructure, a process that has now become partially unfeasible because of the financial crisis that has led to the search for new areas of cooperation. (Macauhub)