Cape Verde wants to serve as platform for China’s merchant navy

26 April 2006

Beijing, China, 26 April – Cape Verde wants to be a service platform for the Chinese merchant navy, Cape Verde’s ambassador to China, Júlio Morais said in Beijing Tuesday.

Morais said that “a strategic objective in our relationship with China is to make Cape Verde into a services platform for China’s trading and merchant fleet in the mid-Atlantic, near the big markets of the European Union and United States and the sources of strategic raw materials in Africa.”

The Cape Verdean ambassador told Portuguese news agency Lusa that one of the country’s aims was to improve infrastructures in order to set up the possibility of becoming a service platform, through its special partnership with the European Union.

Morais said he believed that Cape Verde’s partnership with the EU made it easier to access European financing mechanisms and preferential conditions for accessing European markets as well as the United States, Africa and Brazil, via the Community of Portuguese-speaking countries.

Cape Verde and China set up diplomatic relations on April 25, 1976 and since then Beijing has provided Cape Verde with economic and technical cooperation.

Although Cape Verde did not export anything to China, in 2005 the country imported Chinese goods to the value of US$1.94 million in the first half of 2005.

China is currently building Cape Verde’s first hydroelectric dam, on Santiago Island and the two countries are negotiating the construction of a cement factory, other dams, a national stadium, a ceramics factory on Boavista Island and an industrial fishing unit.(macauhub)