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Argentina’s Kirchner in Angola

Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner arrived in Angola (© 2009 AFP)

Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner arrived in Angola on Thursday for a short state visit to push for a deal to exchange her country’s food for Angolan oil.

Angolan Foreign Minister Georges Chikoty welcomed Kirchner at the capital Luanda’s international airport.

Travelling with Kirchner were the ministers of foreign affairs, as well as industry and agriculture, and hundreds of business representatives.

She was due to meet Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos on Friday morning, when the two nations will discuss agreements on trade, agriculture and industry and science.

Kirchner will push an agreement to exchange Argentinian food for Angolan oil, similar to a deal her country has with Venezuela.

Her proposal may be welcomed as a solution to expensive food imports as Angola’s ravaged agriculture sector suffers a drawn-out drought.

She was also expected to announce a $100-million (79-million-euro) credit line to promote trade between the two nations’ companies, according to Angolan state news agency Angop.

Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, is wooing foreign investors to push their money into developing its infrastructure and economy.

It will especially welcome Argentinian expertise in agriculture, a leading sector in the 1970s but decimated during a three-decade civil war.

Its dependence on food imports has caused prices to skyrocket, making life in Luanda more expensive than Tokyo.

The south-west African country’s main trading partners are the United States, China, Brazil and Portugal.

Trade with Argentina has grown from $18 million to $150 million from 2001 to 2010. Dos Santos visited Argentina in 2005.

Signature : LUANDA (AFP)

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