Argentine President Cristina Fernández is on a three-day visit to Angola to promote trade and investments particularly exchanging food for the African country’s oil. Friday morning she is scheduled to meet her counterpart Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.
The President is accompanied by Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, Industry Minister Débora Giorgi, Agriculture Minister Norberto Yauhar and Public Communications Secretary, Alfredo Scoccimarro plus a delegation of 400 Argentine business people.
On her first day President Cristina Fernández met with members of the Organization of Angolan Women, a human rights group founded by mothers who lost their children and husbands during the civil war.
The Argentine president brief state visit is geared mainly to reach a deal for the exchange of food for Angolan oil, similar an accord with Venezuela. The former Portuguese colony has rapidly become the second largest oil producer of black Africa.
The deal is anticipated to have a good echo since Angola is highly dependent on expensive food imports and its agriculture sector has been ravaged by drought and the effects of the prolonged civil war with many un-cleared minefields and much ordnance which needs to be eliminated.
Cristina Fernandez is also expected to announce a 100-million dollars credit line to promote trade between the two nations' companies, according to Angolan state news agency Angop.
Angola is also in much need of foreign investment to develop infrastructure and help with the transfer of expertise and know-how. Its dependence on food imports has caused prices to skyrocket, making life in Luanda more expensive than Tokyo.
The south-west African country's main trading partners are the United States, China, Brazil and Portugal. Trade with Argentina has grown from 18 million to 150 million dollars from 2001 to 2010.
On Friday the Argentine president will visit the National Assembly and participate in a solemn session of the Legislative. She is also scheduled to open a fair of Argentine goods and technology where most of the 400 companies of the business delegation will be exhibiting.
President Dos Santos visited Argentina in 2005, a guest of then President Nestor Kirchner, the deceased husband of Cristina Fernandez.