269 words - January 22, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On January 16, President of South Africa Jacob Zuma traveled to Luanda, the capital city of Angola. He met with his counterpart Jose Eduardo Dos Santos with whom he exchanged views of issues affecting the bilateral relations, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and the African continent as a whole.
High-level diplomatic contacts have intensified between the two countries for the last four years. Angola is one of South Africa's major trading partners with increasing imports of petroleum and diamonds. "Almost 90% of Angola exports to South Africa are petroleum related products," an official statement by South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation specified. The state visit of President Zuma ensured the continuation of his first and previous state visit to Angola in August 2009 and the reciprocal one paid by President Dos Santos in December 2010.
South Africa and Angola increasingly coordinate their policy towards peace and stability in the region. Angola chaired SADC during 2012. Like South Africa, Angola is currently a member of the African Union (AU) and of the SADC's Troika and Security Committee. DiploNews noted however that Zuma's visit was principally motivated by economic interests.
With the second largest oil production on the continent and its membership of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Angola has become the third largest economy of Africa. Benefiting from an impressive economic growth rate – 5.5% expected in 2013 – Angola is now considered a priority market for South African exports. Angola constitutes a large potential of untapped investment opportunities as well, analysts agreed.
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