France Looks to Angola For Economic, Business Opportunities

France Looks to Angola For Economic, Business Opportunities

From France 24

The delegation of business leaders accompanying French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on his visit to Angola on Thursday, October 31, is impressive.

Among them are top representatives from Air France, Airbus, BNP Paribas, and Total, all hoping to get a piece of the economic boom the southern African country has been enjoying over the last several years.

The stakes of this diplomatic visit are even articulated on the website of France’s finance ministry, where the Angola page reads: “Few countries in the world have as great a potential as Angola, where, despite the competition, there are several possibilities for French companies.”

China, Portugal and France rally for piece of ‘miracle’

On paper, Angola’s “economic miracle” is obvious. Since the end of the bloody civil war that ravaged the country from 1975 to 2002, the former Portuguese colony has registered rates of growth comparable to China’s. Despite a slowdown during the first years of the financial crisis, Angola saw its annual growth rise above 7 percent as of 2012.

Analysts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have predicted that the country — Africa’s third strongest economically, after South Africa and Nigeria – will maintain this growth rate for years to come.

Moreover, China has lobbied to become Angola’s principal business partner, investing more than 15 billion dollars in 17 different economic agreements with the country. “Officially, there are 276,000 Chinese citizens residing in Angola,” read a memo from the Switzerland Global Enterprise, an institution with the mission of boosting Swiss commerce, in December 2012.

-Written by Sebastian Seibt

Read more at france24.com