Angola – a land of opportunities beyond just oil

 In Angola, Bi-lateral trade, Investment, News

Portugal’s ambassador to Angola, Francisco Alegre Duarte, said on Tuesday that the country would “continue to be a land of economic opportunities beyond oil”.

Speaking at the conference ‘Doing Business Angola 2024′ organised by Jornal Económico in Lisbon, the ambassador argued that Portuguese companies should invest in Angola since there were opportunities beyond its oil industry.

“Angola is a structural market for Portuguese companies. Portugal exports €2Bn worth of goods and services to Angola. We have 1,250 Portuguese and Luso-Angolan companies, and construction creates tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs”.

The diplomat highlighted the challenges faced by companies which include “payments predictability, legal security, exchange rate stability, and access to foreign exchange.”

“There is great confidence in Angola, a long-term commitment that allows for gains in scale and offsetting economic cycles in Europe and Portugal; vital for the internationalisation process.”

The ambassador said that Portugal had a “great responsibility and provided opportunities” in sectors such as agrifoods, tourism, and the pharmaceutical industry.”

Ambassador António Martins da Cruz said that Angola and Africa were suffering from an increase in global polarisation because of the “new cold war” and the misuse of the economy and international trade as weapons of war, particularly unilateral sanctions affecting international trade causing energy disruptions, oil price fluctuations, and other geopolitical issues affecting Angola.

On the positive side, Angola he said had a “stable government”, as well as a “structured budget”, a “recognised economy”, and a “solid and stable rating” for the ratings agencies, but was suffering as a consequence of geopolitical conflicts.

Mineral fuels such as oil continue to be prominent in terms of Angola’s exports. Data for the third quarter of 2023 shows that oil represents a 95.1% share of the country’s overseas sales.

However, export commodities such as pearls, precious gems, metals, and semi-precious stones have taken on a growing importance.

According to the report ‘Overseas Trade Statistics, 3rd Quarter 2023’, these products represent 3.2% of the total value of exports. In comparison with the third quarter of 2022, the total value of overseas sales in metals and gems saw a sharp increase of 23%.

Regarding Angola’s main trading partners, China takes the lead making up more than 50% of Angola’s exports. China is followed by Spain (10%), the Netherlands (6%), and France (5.9%).

Nevertheless, despite Portugal trailing behind these other European countries in terms of Angolan overseas exports, Angola is one of Portugal’s top export destinations in several sectors.

Portugal’s exports to Angola stood at US$1.37Bn in 2023 according to COMTRADE

The most important exports in terms of value were machinery, nuclear reactors and boilers (US$281M, followed by electrical and electronic equipment ($US170M) and steel and iron articles (US$79M).

Exports in value have increased on 2021 when they stood at €951.6 million, which in itself was more than the €870 million achieved in 2021, overall reversing a downward trend in trade seen since 2017.

In terms of Angolan imports, China came top with 15% or US$2.3Bn, followed by Portugal US$1.6Bn with Portugal representing 10.89% of the total value of Angola’s imports.