Opening up of credit line and debt pardon on agenda of Guinea Bissau FinMin’s visit to Portugal

30 August 2007

Lisbon, Portugal, 30 Aug – The opening up of a bilateral credit line and the pardoning of the debt of Guinea Bissau to Portugal, estimated at US$100 million will be the top of the agenda of visit by Guinea Bissau’s finance minister to Portugal.

Issuf Sanhá, Guinea’s finance minister, told Portuguese news agency Lusa that he hoped to return to Bissau, from his visit which began Wednesday, with memoranda of understanding on these and other issues, which may soon come to fruition in bilateral agreements.

With the opening up of a “concessionary credit line,” similar to the one set up for Angola, Sanhá hopes to, “attract Portuguese capital and know how,” encouraging partnerships with companies from both countries, particularly in sectors such as agriculture, fishing, tourism and mining.

The Guinean government also plans to start discussions on double taxation, on Portugal’s support of the Guinean state budget and technical cooperation with the Portuguese Finance Ministry.

Guinea Bissau’s foreign debt is currently estimated at US$1.1 billion, or around five times the country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP), and is a problem Guinea Bissau would like to solve with the support of the entire international financial community. (macauhub)