Caetano Júnior, deputy director of Jornal de Angola - the largest newspaper in Angola, owned by the State - and José Kaliengue, the director of the private newspaper, O País, responded to the challenge of outlining, in three points, the issues that will mark the two-day official visit by the Portuguese prime minister to Angola.
Caetano Júnior, deputy director of Jornal de Angola
"The first important fact is the resumption of relations, which leads to enhanced cooperation. In the last 8-10 years, there has been a gap in the official relationship between the two countries, which was reflected in different areas. Therefore, for two countries with a long common history and even cultural ties, the past years have been harmful, with consequences for their respective people, particularly immigrants (around 150,000 in Angola and 20,000 in Portugal). Costa's visit also confirms the end of the "twitching" that had been caused by the Manuel Vicente case, fortunately settled to the satisfaction of both nations.
Another relevant element is the possibility of signing agreements, especially in the Economic area. The end of the double taxation can help relaunch Portuguese businessmen investments in Angola, because it would help to reduce expenses. It can also encourage Angolans to bet on the Portuguese market. On the other hand, an agreement in Agriculture might revive the sector, in which Angola has a great potential. The african country seeks to diversify the economy and reduce exports, which also intails a bet on Agriculture and Portugal has vast experience in this particular area. There is also an expectation to diversify the areas of cooperation.
Finally, the visit of António Costa sends a sign of trust and revival, which must exist in the cooperation between countries that met 500 years ago for reasons that history and that human existence condemns. Therefore, they are both aware that they must take advantage of the fact that they have common positive aspects, that they need to make the utmost for the benefit of the their people.
José Kaliengue, director of the newspaper O País
"After years without official visits at the highest level, a more relaxed environment has been created, and it is capable of improving the perception that each side has of the other. From Portugal, one may no longer see Angola as an African square of corruption, and from Angola one may no longer see Portugal as the European rectangle of intrigue and interference. And this is easy to notice, we just have to look at how the newspapers and TVs on both sides are portraying the subject, with much more "affection" and a clear will to "help", so that the past stays in the museum and the future can be looked upon, as António Costa said in Luanda's Military History Museum.
A re-launch of Portuguese businessmen's appetite for Angola, seeking a stake in the 1.5 billion euro credit line put forward by the prime minister to Angola and also as a result of the Angolan commitment to pay off the debt of 500 million euros of the Angolan State to Portuguese companies. And all this must be summed to the agreement for the end of the double taxation, which constitutes a strong appeal for the internationalization of Portuguese companies in Angola and for the relaunch of the exports. But in regards to exports, it goes both ways, as for investments, because there is Angolan money that needs to leave the country and Portugal is a safe investment destination.
Bilateral political cooperation is relaunched, as is judicial cooperation. At the multilateral level, the countries have always cooperated, but links can be strengthened, either in Portugal's role in the European Union to support Angolan action in resolving crises in the DRC and in the Central African Republic, for example, or in the "support" of Angola in the Portuguese action in Europe, so that Portugal does not seem so small in the territorial dimension of its economy and its culture, fundamentally the language, which has a territory that goes beyond the Portuguese and European borders.