Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho visited Angola earlier this month to promote greater investment from his country’s former colony. In an email interview, Pedro Seabra, a researcher at the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security, discussed Portugal-Angola relations.
WPR: How have relations between Portugal and Angola evolved in the past decade?
Pedro Seabra: Since Angola’s civil war ended in 2002, bilateral relations with Portugal have skyrocketed both in political and economic terms. Overall, there has been a clear political drive from both countries to try to make up for lost time while at the same time seeking to provide official coverage for growing business and investment ties. Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s latest visit to Luanda, on Nov. 17, is part of this effort. Portuguese companies are currently deeply active in Angola, essentially taking advantage of a massive reconstruction process on the ground, while Angolan investments started making their way into Portugal back in 2007. As an indication, in 2010, the net worth of Angolan investment in Portugal comprised 3.8 percent of the Portuguese stock market, with Angola standing out as Portugal’s fourth-largest trading partner. On top of all this, new emigration patterns have also developed in the past few years, with the number of Portuguese citizens in Angola steeply growing from 21,000 in 2003 to more than 90,000 in 2010.