The meeting of businesspeople from China and Portuguese-speaking countries was a “huge step” for investments to be made in Cape Verde, said the president investment agency Cabo Verde TradeInvest on Friday in Praia.
Ana Barber said the meeting, besides being a “huge step”, was also a success, giving the 10 protocols that were signed by several companies and organizations in China and Portuguese-speaking countries as an example.
The protocols include boosting exchange with China by Angola and Cabo Verde, the commercial representation of Cape Verde’s coffee in China, the planning, construction and management of a private hospital in the city of Praia and creation of an alliance of legal services, among others.
At the end of the meeting, which on Sunday continued with visits to companies and the interior of the island of Santiago, Finance Minister Olavo Correia restated the government’s commitment to creating conditions for the private sector to become the driving force behind development.
Cape Verde’s prime minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, said at the opening of the meeting that his government intends to make the archipelago a “safe, attractive” country to live, reside, invest and as a “platform of economic circulation in the Mid-Atlantic.”
“[Cape] Verde should distinguish itself as a country with low political, security and economic risks,” said the prime minister, adding that the natural wealth of the archipelago is its social and political stability and the fact that it is a country “where one can trust business relations and relations between states.”
Correia e Silva acknowledged that the small size of Cape Verde’s financial market is a constraint on business development, but added that “it will be overcome through the complete liberalisation of capital movements and the creation of a Sovereign Guarantee Fund for Private Investments for companies to have access to the external banking and capital market to finance larger investments.”
According to Correia e Silva, in terms of markets and making the most of the country’s geographic and economic position, Cape Verde intends to play a relevant role in China’s Belt and Road initiative, establishing the link between China, Europe and West Africa as well as Portuguese-speaking Africa. ”
More than 400 representatives of institutions and companies took part in the Meeting of Entrepreneurs for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese- speaking Countries.
Portugal will host the next meeting, in Lisbon in 2018. MDT/Macauhub