Gabon will maintain a stable rate of growth in the near term, said Etienne Ngoubou, Gabon’s minister of oil, energy and hydraulic resources, thanks to its growing trade ties with Asia, which will enable it to withstand any shocks from the eurozone crisis.

“It is [a] mistake to link sub-Saharan countries to the eurozone,” Mr Ngoubou told fDi. “The place of European countries in our economy is [weakening]. We are doing less business with them and now our main exchange is with the Far East and America. The world is moving. There are new economies and they are doing more business with Africa. Our economy is a very dynamic one. We had a GDP growth of 4% [this year] and we expect it to increase by 8% by 2020.”

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And Mr Ngoubou refuted the idea that Gabon’s dwindling oil reserves will damage the country’s competitiveness: “Our oil levels in Gabon are not decreasing. We are maintaining our [stable] level of production, and the price is above our expectation.”