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Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 11:30

Partners with long-term goals

By China Daily
Partners with long-term goals
Several agreements between the two countries were signed during the state visit of Angolan President, Eng. Jose Eduardo dos Santos (right), seen here with Chinese President Xi Jinping, to China in June. (Photos provided to China Daily)

As Angola celebrates the 40th anniversary of its independence from Portugal, its diplomatic, economic and cultural ties with China have never been stronger. While diplomatic relationship between the two countries was forged in 1983, the last decade, as Consul General (CG) of Angola in Hong Kong Cupertino Gourgel indicates, has seen an accelerated growth in partnership.

“During the last decade, China financed the construction of numerous schools and hospitals across the country,” says Gourgel. “Many Chinese experts continue to travel across Angola to lend their services on public projects both in education and healthcare.”

In a country having an unusually young demographic (63 percent under 25, according to UNICEF), China has done her bit toward “empowering the youth and investing in the future”, Gourgel adds. “Countless Angolan students continue to receive Chinese government sponsored scholarships.”

Under the leadership of Angolan President, Eng. Jose Eduardo dos Santos, in early 2002 Angola established a strategic partnership with China, toward national reconstruction. Not only is China involved in building major large-scale public housing projects and financing the construction of the new international airport at the Angolan capital of Luanda; Angola has been China’s biggest trading partner in Africa for more than a decade.

Partners with long-term goals
BELA Brewery, so named by Angolan President dos Santos, produces 30,000 cans and 36, 000 bottles of liquor per hour.
Partners with long-term goals
Block 18 FPSO is the largest and most advanced of its kind in the world. It can store up to 3 million barrels of oil and has a daily production capacity of 225,000 barrels.

The construction of the new airport, scheduled to open in 2017, is supported by a Hong Kong-based private enterprise. Once completed, it will be one of the biggest and most-advanced airports on the continent. The two runway system and the 160,000-square-meter terminal building will serve 15 million passengers per year.

“Angola and China have a long-term vision for partnership,” says CG Gourgel, “one that has grown over the last three decades and will continue to evolve in the next three and far beyond. The signposts on this itinerary include both Angolan and Chinese companies conducting business, entrepreneurs exchanging ideas, and people sharing life experiences.”

The intense and fast-paced growth in bilateral relationship got a further push with the state visit of Angolan President dos Santos to China in June. “President dos Santos was accompanied by nine ministers and several heads of State-owned enterprises during his recent trip this past June, from which details of the agreements are gradually being made public,” says Gourgel.

China has been a key investor in Angola, including projects involving urbanization and public housing. The flagship $3.5 billion Kilamba Kiaxi project, in which around 50 Chinese State-owned enterprises and 400 small-to-medium enterprises were involved, had triggered widespread media speculation about whether these would be able to attract tenants. Happily, the housing units are now occupied and the project is in its second phase.

“With the rapid rate of urbanization, there was growing demand for housing, public facilities and amenities across the country,” says Gourgel, providing the context. “Now there is new public housing across all 18 provinces. We are meeting targets and setting new ones. Many Chinese companies were involved in the projects. It has been a learning experience on both sides, enabling newfound partnerships and much on-the-job training.”

Partners with long-term goals
The largest cement plant in Africa has a daily production capacity of 10,000 tons. It’s an eco-friendly enterprise involving latest technologies and full automatic control.

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