Angola to post double-digit growth in 2010:cheers:
Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:38pm GMT
(Reuters) - Angola's economy will return to double digit growth in 2010 and will expand 6.2 percent this year, but the country can no longer only depend on oil, Finance Minister Eduardo Severim de Morais said on Monday.
"Our forecast is that the economy will grow 6.2 percent (in 2009) with a decline of 6.1 percent in the oil sector and growth of 15.4 percent in the non-oil sector," the minister told Reuters.
"Recession has been avoided, in 2010 the economy will return to double-digit growth," he said.
The African nation, which rivals Nigeria as the continent's biggest oil producer, has grown at annual average of 15 percent since the end of a civil war in 2002, making it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
But the government is continuing its efforts to diversify the economy as the main lesson it will take from the world economic crisis is that the country cannot depend on one product -- oil, De Morais said.
The Angolan government recently almost halved its growth forecast for this year to 6.2 percent from 11.8 percent in a revised budget. In 2008, the economy grew 15.8 percent.
De Morais said he did not know the fundamentals behind a recent OECD forecast, which according to press reports, said the Angolan economy would shrink 7 percent this year.
"I don't know the details of that prediction. We forecast a drop in oil production not because we cannot potentially produce the 2 billion barrel we already produce, but because we have to maintain our commitments to OPEC," he said.
He said that the government had not been contacted by anyone from the OECD to discuss forecasts.
He added that the OECD forecasts "are not justified as the government has $10 billion of public investments currently in execution".