LUANDA, June 4 (Reuters) - General Electric (GE) will supply railway and energy equipment to Angola in a $1 billion deal financed by the U.S.-run Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), officials and state-run media said on Wednesday.
The state-owned Jornal de Angola newspaper said the agreement would involve $650 million of energy equipment and the remainder on railway machinery.
A spokesman for President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos confirmed the deal, which was struck with Ex-Im chairman Fred Hochberg this week.
Angola, Africa’s second-biggest oil producer, has posted rapid economic growth since the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002.
Dos Santos’ government is spending billions to rebuild transport, electricity and communications networks devastated by the conflict.
Hochberg told Reuters this week that Ex-Im wanted to increase activity in Angola, which until now had been mainly $600 million of financing for state airline TAAG to purchase aircraft from Boeing.
“Frequently we go to a country and companies like Boeing or GE will be the first ones to go in and then others follow,” he said. “We are open to looking at all sectors now, oil and gas, infrastructure, transport, mining and small businesses.”
Angola is trying to diversify its economy, which depends on crude production for over 95 percent of its export revenues.
Secretary of State John Kerry said during a visit to Luanda last month that the United States want to widen economic ties beyond the oil sector, where U.S. firms such as Chevron and Exxon Mobil are already important players.
Kerry said he had discussed with Dos Santos the possibilities of increasing cooperation in agriculture, technology, energy and infrastructure. (Reporting by Shrikesh Laxmidas)