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Germany seeks raw materials partnership with Angola

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Germany wants a closer relationship with resource-rich Angola, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday on a visit to the south-west African country which she offered coastguard ships and industrial cooperation.

“Germany is ready for an energy and raw materials partnership,” Merkel said after meeting Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos in the capital Luanda.

In exchange, Germany could help with infrastructure projects, education and agriculture, as well as the sale of six to eight patrol boats built by Bremen-based Luerssen shipyards.

Dos Santos underlined his will to undertake political reforms in a country which emerged from almost three decades of civil war in 2002.

Oil and gas-producing Angola expects economic growth of 8% this year, a figure Dos Santos said could reach double-digits next year.

Trade with Germany dried up during the economic crisis, but jumped early this year.

Merkel said earlier at a bilateral business conference that German companies had concrete projects, including liquid natural gas operations from 2012 and cooperation in renewable energy.

Dos Santos invited German companies to take part in the construction of three hydroelectric power plants worth $1 billion, and companies also have their eyes on the development of fibre-optic networks, universities and schools.

Turning to political reforms, Merkel said Angola had made great progress since its civil war but, could do more to boost transparency, fight corruption and ensure freedom of expression. —Reuters

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