The President of the Angola-China Chamber of Commerce (CAC) Luis Cupenala has commended what he said is “tremendous” cooperation between Angola and China, saying the level of bilateral cooperation has been consistent and reliable.
Cupenala told Xinhua that such cooperation has contributed to infrastructure improvement, industrialization, as well as poverty fight efforts in the southern African country.
Cupenala highlighted transport as an area that saw great cooperation between the two countries over the years, commending Chinese companies for having built and reconstructed railways such as the Benguela Railway, roads, airports, and electric infrastructure that have improved connectivity in the country.
The 1,344-km Benguela Railway, built by the China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation and connecting the port city of Lobito to the city of Luau bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was handed over to Angola on Oct. 3, 2019.
Through the cooperation, Chinese firms have also created job opportunities and facilitated skills transfer to the local population, hence helping them build capacity and increase productivity, he said.
“China participated in these challenges to make sure that the country (Angola) gets to the level to be able to offer possibility whereby people and goods can flow from one point to another, and obviously, to deal with the international market,” he said.
Cupenala said China champions peace and stability in the world, promotes win-win partnerships, and identifies Africa as a great partner that can transform itself from the level where it is. He believed the most important thing for Africa-China cooperation is to identify the areas where the two sides can further improve so as to achieve more mutual benefits.
Angola, with a landmass of around 1.25 million square kilometers, is rich in natural resources such as crude oil and diamond and boasts fertile soil and favorable weather conditions for agriculture. The country must turn these comparative advantages into goods and services that ultimately improve people’s livelihoods, Cupenala said.
China has witnessed radical economic reforms over the past 40 years and has grown to be the world’s second-largest economy. Angola is keen to learn from the Asian nation’s experience, including in the anti-graft fight, said Cupenala.