China pledges to help Angola in diversifying exports in bilateral trade

08:26, January 14, 2011      

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Visiting Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said in Luanda on Thursday that China would help Angola in diversifying its exports to China as part of the efforts to boost trade relations between the two countries.

Zhong made the pledge during his meeting with Angolan Minister of Trade Maria Idalina Valente to explore ways of further expanding trade and economic ties between the two countries.

Zhong said China has attached importance to developing ties with Angola, the largest trading partner of China in Africa, and the 2010 visit to Angola by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping brought Sino-Angolan ties to new highs.

The Chinese official said crude oil was almost the sole product of Angola which ended up in Chinese markets despite the fact that trade volume between the two countries amounted to some 25 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, and the Chinese government has decided to reduce or waive tariffs on Angolan exports to China from January 1, 2011 to encourage Angolan businessmen to export more products to China, including agricultural produces, fish and other marine products and diamonds.

Zhong said China and Angola have made substantial progress in bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, basic infrastructures and agriculture, and the Chinese government has encouraged Chinese enterprises to invest in Angola and make technological transfers to the African country as well.

For her part, Maria Idalina Valente said Angola welcomed China's proposal to expand bilateral trade and economic cooperation on the basis of the strategic partnerships hammered out during Xi Jinping's visit to Angola.

The Angolan minister said the biggest challenge faced by her government is to diversify its oil-dependent economy and to build up industrial and manufacturing capabilities in the national economy.

She said Angola is trying to improve its investment conditions and hopes to reach an agreement with China on the protection of investments by the year 2012.

The minister said her country is also keen on learning from China's development experiences in setting up special economic zones and zones of processing products for exports.

Zhong arrived in Luanda earlier in the day for a two-day work visit to the African country.

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