Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos has begun his first state visit to Portugal, hoping to boost trade with the former colonial power which is now a major business partner.
Dos Santos has taken a high-level delegation to meet his counterpart Anibal Cavaco Silva in Lisbon. And, later today, the two leaders are scheduled to sign a deal creating a joint investment bank, co-owned by Portugal’s Caixa Geral de Depositos and Angola’s state-owned oil giant Sonangol. Angola’s direct investment in its former colonial master tripled in 2008 to 59 million euros, while Lisbon’s investment in the oil-rich African state was 757 million euros, according to figures from the Portuguese central bank. Angola is also Portugal’s fourth-biggest export destination. Angola gained independence from Portugal in 1975. The oil-rich African state emerged from 30 years of civil war in 2002 and is seeking to diversify its economy and attract foreign investment to beat the global financial crisis.