19 Nov 2011

Angola to help Portugal cope with crisis

5:22 am on 19 November 2011

Angola is prepared to help its former colonial ruler Portugal cope with its financial crisis.

After a visit by Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos said solutions needed to be found.

They should be "advantageous for both countries" and "in a spirit of solidarity and mutual help", he said.

Analysts say Portugal's economy is expected to contract by 2.8% next year and Angola's to grow by 12%.

Angola's investments in Portugal have risen sharply in recent years.

According to the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security in Lisbon, the figure in 2009 stood at $US156 million, compared to $US2.1 million in 2002.

It says Angolan companies own the equivalent of 3.8% of companies listed on Portugal's stock exchange, from banks to telecoms and energy.

Angola is still recovering from a long brutal civil war which ended in 2002, gained independence from Portugal in 1975.

The visit was the first by Mr Passos Coelho to Angola since he was elected to office in June. He grew up in Angola, where his father was a doctor during the colonial era.