Ambassador wants to expand trade relations
“It was great to visit NAI and see the wonderful library, with its excellent tools for literature searches. My meeting with the institute’s Angolan researcher, Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues, was also most fruitful. She provided me with many insights into the situation in Angola.” So says Lennart Killander Larsson, newly appointed Swedish ambassador to that country.
He was participating in the coaching programme for Nordic ambassadors to Africa. For Killander Larsson, the day was especially rewarding because he has little experience of Angola or Africa in general. However, since he has worked previously in Brazil, Portuguese presents no problem.
Swedish relations with Angola date back to before its independence in 1975. Until recently, traditional development aid has dominated the relationship. Ambassador Killander Larsson’s role will be different, however, since trade relations are now the focus.
“Hopefully, Swedish companies will increase their exports to Angola – and vice versa. The many contacts established earlier with Angola will be useful, and may be widened, but with trade in mind rather than aid,” Killander Larsson explains.
The Finnish ambassador to Zambia, Tim Olkkonen, also attended the programme.
“I recommend that the institute continue with this approach. It allows for broader and deeper discussions than if l had been there on my own,” Killander Larsson remarks.