Visa handling, economic ties with Angola need improvement

  • Lusa
  • 12 April 2022

"For Portugal, and for me as foreign minister, the relationship with Angola is unique and we want to stimulate it even more," said Portugal's minister of foreign affairs this Monday.

Portugal’s minister of foreign affairs, João Gomes Cravinho, speaking in Luanda on Tuesday, cited the handling of visas and economic flows between Angola and Portugal as among the areas requiring improvement in their relationship.

Cravinho was speaking to journalists at the end of a meeting with his Angolan counterpart, Téte Antonio, in the capital of the country that he chose as his first destination for a bilateral visit after being sworn in a fortnight ago.

“For Portugal, and for me as foreign minister, the relationship with Angola is unique and we want to stimulate it even more,” he said, stressing that rather than being just a matter of diplomacy, the relationship was “a matter of the peoples.”

During the meeting with António some of the most salient aspects of the bilateral relationship were reviewed in an attempt to identify “ways” to realise joint objectives in the near future.

Among these, Gomes Cravinho identified “the great work” of recovery from the crisis caused by the pandemic, so that the economic relationship “will be one of the great fields of work” for both countries.

He also identified “some issues that need more streamlining”, including visas and support for businesspeople.

“We need to improve the processing of visas, in both directions, but especially here at the consulate general in Luanda,” he admitted. “We need to create better conditions so that Portuguese businesspeople can work not only in traditional sectors such as construction, but also in areas such as agriculture, tourism and energy.”

He stressed Angola’s “very significant” potential in these sectors.

Gomes Cravinho also congratulated Angola for the way it has handled its stint as holder of the rotating presidency of the Community of Portuguese-Langugae Countries (CPLP) and said that in June there would be a ministerial meeting of the organisation, “to deal with some of the issues” outstanding.

Asked about the political situation in Angola, Gomes Cravinho said that he “monitors it, as in the rest of the world” but that most important for Portugal is “closer relations” between the two countries in the political, economic, diplomatic and human fields.

Angola’s minister, for his part, noted the “symbolism” of his counterpart’s first visit to Angola, reiterating that the relationship would be “developed in all senses” and in multiple areas.

“In all areas we want to develop a productive relationship with Portugal,” he said.

Gomes Cravinho subsequently went to the presidential palace, where he was to be received later in the morning by Angola’s president, João Lourenço.