Angola woos Spanish investment
12 April 2021 | Economics
We are making an effort to pay off all duly certified debts. - João Lourenço, Angolan president
Africa's second-largest oil exporter is buckling under spiralling debt following a decline in crude prices and the economic setbacks of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on Thursday during an official visit by Spain's prime minister Pedro Sanchez, the Angolan leader admitted debt was often an "inhibiting factor" for Spanish entrepreneurs and other potential investors.
"In this regard I want to convey some reassurance," Lourenço said.
"We are making an effort to pay off all duly certified debts, despite the temporary difficulties the country is going through."
Spain is seeking opportunities abroad to bolster its tourism-driven economy hard hit by the pandemic.
Sanchez started a two-stop Africa tour in Angola on Thursday, taking with him business leaders from the engineering, energy and logistics sectors as well as from plane-maker Airbus.
The two leaders signed bilateral deals setting out legal cooperation on air transport, industrial policy, agriculture and fishing.
Lourenço also invited Spanish companies to directly invest in public and private projects.
Angola secured some payment relief from Chinese creditors this year, as well as a US$488 million disbursement from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Sanchez is the first Spanish government official to visit the southwest African country since former prime minister Felipe Gonzalez in 1992.
He flew north to Senegal later Thursday, where he met president Macky Sall and discussed efforts to block irregular immigration to Spain's Canary Islands.
Between January and November last year, Africa accounted for 6.0% of Spanish exports and 7.0% of its imports.
Although modest, the figures were higher than those for Latin America, which stood at 4.3% and 4.8% respectively. – Nampa/AFP