President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina recently led a trade mission to Angola to push for a food-for-oil deal with the oil-rich southern African country. In an email interview, Vasco Martins, an affiliated researcher at the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security, discussed Angola’s external relations.
WPR: What are the main domestic and international factors driving Angola's external relations?
Vasco Martins: Angola’s domestic interests seem to reside above all in assuring continuing funding for its national reconstruction program in order to enhance the provision of services in several areas and to extend state administration throughout its territory, especially to rural areas. To do so, Angola has been investing in many foreign companies, especially Portuguese banks and media conglomerates, with the objective of not only gathering know-how but also assuring funding from diversified sources. It is, above all, an effort to diversify the Angolan economy away from oil and rough stone exports by creating the necessary conditions to export services as well.