China helping to rebuild Angola's infrastructure
Updated: 2014-05-10 07:51
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Over 10,000 kilometers away from China, there is an African state that enjoys an incredibly close bond with the world's second-biggest economy. In fact, though not particularly big, it has overtaken many other African countries to become the second-largest trading partner of China on the continent. That state, remote yet intimate for China, is Angola.
Since the end of the Angolan civil war in 2002, thousands of Chinese workers have embarked on a journey to the devastated land to join the labor-intensive reconstruction efforts and help the country walk out of the quagmire step by step.
Zhao Ke, a Chinese contractor who has spent almost 10 years in Angola, has accomplished dozens of construction projects in the country, including colleges, hospitals, a residential complex, and infrastructure.
He said his Angolan clients were happy with these projects for their high quality, low cost and fast speed, compared with European competitors.
The construction branch of China's CITIC Group Corp has won a bid to build a social housing project, in the southern suburb of capital Luanda, a project which could be the largest residential community under construction in the world.
The first phase needs an investment of $3.5 billion and covers an area of 88,000 sq km, on which 533 high-rise apartment buildings, roads, shops, schools, post offices, churches, water and electricity supply systems will be built.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has visited the construction field several times, hopes that the project will become a model project known for its high quality and high standard.
During a visit to Angola in 2010 as vice-president, Xi Jinping encouraged Chinese companies to demonstrate the spirit of hard work and perseverance and overcome hardships to get the work done.
Zheng Gang, chairman of China H&S Group, told Xinhua his company is seeking a long-term and localized strategy of development in Angola.
The company, which has been operating in Angola since 2006, is engaged in construction, construction materials, furniture, and an iron structure factory among others. It employs 500 local people in addition to Chinese workers.
H&S is about to embark on the next step and take part in Angola's process of industrialization, which is the country's direction of future development, Zheng said.
The Export-Import Bank of China, which provided huge preferential loans to projects in Angola, said no bad debt has ever occurred in its transactions in the southwestern African nations.