Crisis in Angola impacts on Portugal and “many other countries”

The economic crisis affecting Angola as a result of the low price of oil is now being felt by many other countries, Portugal included.

According to news reports coming out of the former African colony this week, “many workers in the civil construction industry” are returning to Portugal as large public projects are suddenly being put on hold.

The government led by José Eduardo dos Santos is reported to be “drastically reducing imports” leaving multinationals to open their own centres of production “if they want to continue” working out of Angola.

Social journalism portal International Blasting News reports that Angola’s minister of commerce has recently cancelled importation licences on 27 food and non-food products, the objective being to force the local market to step-in and fill the void.

The new rules affect many Portuguese businesses, says the portal. Unicer for example, with a turnover of around €120 million, exports around 100 million litres of beer.

But it is the construction industry that looks like being most affected as plans for new roads and social infrastructures are suddenly being dropped.

The portal writes that around 100,000 Portuguese workers are currently employed in Angola’s construction industry and already around 30% have run into difficulties, with employers unable to pay the salaries they had previously agreed. Some workers have even had to appeal to the Portuguese authorities for help to get them home, said the website.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]