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Angola open to mining and infrastructure cooperation with Saudi Arabia: Ambassador
RIYADH: Angola is ready to work with Saudi Arabia in the field of mining as the African country looks to excavate minerals including copper, nickel and lithium, according to its ambassador.
Speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh, Frederico Manuel dos Santos e Silva Cardoso talked up the relationship between his country and the Kingdom, saying investment could flow between the two nations.
As well as the mining sector, he also flagged up infrastructure developments as a possible area of cooperation.
His comments came just days after the Federation of Saudi Chambers and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Angola signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost economic ties between the countries.
The MoU includes plans for delegation visits, and exchanging information on markets and investment opportunities.
“Angola is also engaged in diversifying the economy,” said Cardoso, referencing Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 drive to move the Kingdom’s economy away from oil.
“We can work in several fields on mining. For example, Angola has copper, cobalt, nickel, lithium, diamonds, and also has ornamental rocks that could be areas that we could work (on) together,” he added.
On infrastructure work, the ambassador said: “We have opportunities for projects of PPP – Public-private partnership.
“This is one of the areas that we are working on in order to put both countries working together.”
Relations between Angola and Saudi Arabia have strengthened in recent years, with the Southern African country opening an embassy in Riyadh in 2021.
Bilateral relations between the Kingdom and Angola began in 2007 and were reinforced in 2019 with the visit of a high-level delegation from Saudi Arabia to the Southern African nation.
Referring to the recent MoU, Cardoso said it was “the first step” to helping strengthen relations between private businesses in the two countries.
“This MoU will establish the main lines for the cooperation between both sides and is going to be a way to make Angola better known in Saudi Arabia, and to make Saudi Arabia known by the Angolan businessmen. I think that this is an opportunity to put Angolan and Saudi businessmen working together directly in order to find opportunities in both countries,” he added.
Looking ahead, the ambassador said Angola and the Kingdom could look to find ways of “promoting and protecting the investment that could be done by each country”.
“We are ready to negotiate, case by case, the opportunities of investments in Angola,” Cardoso explained.
“We have to work on the framework of legal MoUs or legal contracts because we have to establish a basic platform in which both countries will work. For example, we are working in order to establish a legal agreement to avoid double taxation,” he said.
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