Portugal assesses support for Angola, Mozambique and Timor before agreements for 2007/2009

30 May 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 30 May – Portugal plans to assess its latest cooperation programs with Angola, Mozambique and Timor, before negotiating new agreements with the countries for 2007/2009, the secretary of state for cooperation said.

In an interview with Portuguese financial daily newspaper Diário Económico in Lisbon, João Gomes Cravinho said that Portugal would hold an annual meeting of the Inter-ministerial commission for Cooperation for evaluation so that “lessons Learned” become a part of “the design of the projects.”

“For the first time, processes of evaluation have been launched for cooperation with these three countries, to identify how to move forward in the next three-year period. Assessment will be used as a tool for the future,” he said.

According to Cravinho, “it makes no sense,” to negotiate the next three-year period of cooperation with Angola, Mozambique and Timor “without having an idea of what our experience was in 2004/2006.”

In the same interview, Cravinho said that Portuguese companies had “a lack of capacity to view opportunities in cooperation and development,” and should be more aware of international tenders promoted by international institutions and regional banks, particularly in Asia and the Pacific.

“In markets such as the Caribbean and the Pacific,” Portuguese companies “are not very competitive, as is the case in the Asian market,” he said.

This situation, he added, is a contrast to Africa, where “they are very competitive, as is proven also by tenders from African development banks.”

According to Cravinho, the situation should partly be dealt with by the launch of the Portuguese financial agency for development (Sofid), in the next few weeks, which is expected to provide access to 1.5 billion euros in funding for cooperation and development projects. (macauhub)