China’s support to Angola following the Angolan President’s recent visit to Beijing reached US$6 billion, João Lourenço said in a recent interview with Portuguese weekly newspaper Expresso.
“Before we even went to China, the idea spread that we were going to get more than US$10 billion. On our return, the news circulated that we had only got US$2 billion. The truth is that from China we brought close to US$6 billion from different sources,” said the Angolan president.
Since the beginning of his term, Lourenço has made frequent trips abroad with the purpose of attracting private investment and obtaining financing for the country, which is facing a prolonged economic and financial crisis.
The Africa Monitor Intelligence newsletter said that in the case of China, the visit also served to request debt renegotiation.
Asked by the Portuguese weekly about China’s new demands for providing credit, Lourenço said Angola reserves the right to accept them or not.
“In relation to the greater or lesser demands in the conditions of granting credit, the owner of the money is always within their rights to impose conditions. And if you need their money, you discuss and negotiate and, in the end, they say they agree and we will sign it or not agree and they will go and knock on another door,” said the Angolan president.
Lourenço also reiterated his aversion to loans secured by oil, a form of financing demanded by several countries in recent years.
“To date, Angola has been seeking funding from several countries, often with oil as a guarantee, which is a serious condition, and which I have also had the opportunity to report,” he said.
“We are now taking steps to avoid taking on oil-guaranteed debt in the future. Therefore, we will renegotiate with the countries with which we have contracts of this kind,” he said.
The renegotiation, he said, does not imply “abruptly ending” the contracts, while the country increases the use of unsecured credit.
“We have already achieved this with Eurobonds, and we will now get it with the IMF,” an entity with which Angola is negotiating funding of US$4.5 billion, he said. (macauhub)