On a six-day trip to China that ends tomorrow, Angola’s President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos has pushed to broaden his nation’s relationship with China beyond a dependence on oil.
Earlier this week, Dos Santos and President Xi Jinping concluded pacts covering trade, transport, electricity and finance, according to China’s Foreign Ministry. Among the deals, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd will provide $840 million of lending for a power station in Angola.
As Africa’s No. 2 oil exporter, Angola is trying to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels for revenue amid a global price slump. Angola’s crude oil exports to China dropped 7.5 percent in the first quarter this year to 9.9 million tons, according to China Energy News.
Bilateral trade between China and Angola last year was $37.7 billion, an amount that about matches Angola’s combined trade with its next 10 biggest partners, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Angola has also asked China for a moratorium of two years or more on repaying loans.
China has played a key role in building infrastructure that either never existed or was destroyed in a 27-year civil war, which ended in 2002. In February this year, construction of a Chinese-built railway in Angola was completed and opened to traffic, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
China overtook Angola in per-capita income in 2000 and has widened the gap in life expectancy. Angola ranked 206th among all nations in terms of life expectancy for newborns in 2014 at 55 years, compared with 75 years in China, according to Central Intelligence Agency estimates. In 1962, the figures were 34 years in Angola and to 45 in China.