by Staff Writers
Luanda (AFP) May 09, 2014
The president of oil-rich Angola called for broader economic ties with Beijing on Friday as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang embarked on a two-day visit.
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said there was scope to deepen and broaden ties with the Asian economic superpower, by shifting away from infrastructure and other projects.
"It's possible to increase and diversify economic relations between Angola and China, giving more weight to direct investment from Chinese firms to produce basic consumer goods, instead of services or public works."
He also called for Chinese firms to look for "mutually beneficial partnerships with Angolan businesses."
China currently buys nearly 40 percent of Angola's crude oil output and Angola is its leading destination for investment in Africa.
A $14.5 billion Chinese credit line has fuelled an Angolan construction boom that has seen a football stadium, airports and hundreds of kilometres of roads sprout up in the southern African nation.
But there is local anger that these projects have brought up to 300,000 Chinese workers to the country amid high levels of domestic unemployment and poverty.
For his part Li said the two countries could pursue "pragmatic cooperation in the fields of energy, finance, infrastructure, agriculture, urban construction and industry."
The Chinese premier is on a four-country tour of Africa, his first since taking office last year, with the world's second-biggest economy keen to boost its presence on the continent to find new markets and opportunities.
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