China and Angola will likely scale up trade and investment in fields such as modern infrastructure and service, the digital economy, green growth and manufacturing in the years ahead, said market watchers and business executives.
Chinese technologies and investment will assist Angola to speed up its industrialization, upgrade infrastructure, and provide more educational and training opportunities to its people, said Wei Xiaoquan, a researcher specialized in regional economic development at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
The BRI will continue to make African economies, including Angola, more competitive, narrowing development gaps between landlocked countries and coastal regions, he noted, according to China Daily.
Benefiting from closer business ties and a complementary trade structure, China-Angola trade jumped 20.7 percent on an annual basis to USD 25.12 billion in the first 11 months of 2022, statistics from China’s General Administration of Customs showed.
Crude oil, iron ore, bitumen, timber, agricultural and wood products are China’s main imports from Angola. Meanwhile, clothing, machinery, vehicles, trains, telecommunication equipment, industrial parts, household appliances, computers and steel make up most of China’s exports to the African country.
“Infrastructure construction is a key field in cooperation. Chinese companies are contracting many infrastructure projects in Angola, including the building of railroads, irrigation systems and ports,” said Zhang Xiang, vice-president of the Beijing-based China International Contractors Association, which helps Chinese companies secure business in overseas markets.
Despite plentiful water resources throughout Angola, poor water quality and a lack of water-related infrastructure in the country have long limited people’s access to safe drinking water and hindered the development of industries.
However, things are changing for the better. Chinese companies have helped Angola develop hydropower stations, drought relief projects and water supply facilities to harness the water resources, grow the economy and raise living standards.
A water supply project in the northwestern province of Cabinda, built by the Angolan branch of China Railway 20th Bureau Group, was completed in June 2022. The company is headquartered in Xi’an, Shaanxi province.
Zhu Qihui, board chairman of CR20G’s Angola branch, said the project comprises 74 centralized water supply points. It covers 24,000 households or 92 percent of the province’s residential communities. The project can supply water 24 hours a day, seven days a week, significantly relieving the supply shortage that faced local industries, schools, and port transportation, he said.
Guangxi Hydroelectric Construction Bureau, a subsidiary of China Energy Engineering Group, or Energy China, is planning to expand its presence in Angola in the coming years, especially in the areas of energy and transportation infrastructure development.
After more than two years of planning and construction, the company opened a road to traffic in Angola’s Luanda Province in 2022. The 6-meter-wide two-lane road has a designed speed of 60 kilometers per hour.
Previously, the traffic conditions had limited the export of local products, dragging down the development of Angola’s rural economy, said Li Cai, vice-president of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region-based company.
The total length of the road is 8 kilometers. Its construction as a high-quality road was complicated for a municipal project. The cohesive expansive soil and the sandy red clay added challenges.
Increased investment and upgraded infrastructure will drive the growth of various industries and generate more jobs in Angola, said He Wenping, a senior researcher at the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies of the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.