Sao Tome and Principe: Agriculture, adventure and eco-tourism and oil services amongst main opportunities

19 September 2008

Lisbon, Portugal, 19 Sept – Agriculture, adventure and eco-tourism, fishing, transport and services for the oil industry are amongst the main business opportunities available to investors in Sao Tome and Principe, according to a guide drawn up by Columbia University, in the United States.

Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute of Columbia University, which has assisted the archipelago in its legislative and technical development in the oil sector, said that, “the guide aims to provide more information to investors about Sao Tome,” but it is also aimed at, “being useful for the development community, civil society, diplomatic missions,” amongst others.

The Investors’ Guide to Sao Tome and Principe was drawn up by Columbia University, with the support of the Sao Tome government and business councils.

Amongst the main opportunities highlighted by the guide are agriculture, particularly cocoa, flowers, fruits and vegetables for export.

The primary sector employs around 70 percent of the Sao Tome population and is responsible for just 20 percent of GDP.

Amongst the projects underway, the study noted investments in the hotel sector carried out by the Pestana Group and a recent contract worth US$400 million with Terminal Link, a French subsidiary of transport giant CMA-CGM, for construction of new deep water port.

This facility, the Guide said, “should create thousands of jobs for the islands and turn the country into a West African nerve centre.”

Another of the archipelago’s advantages is its geographical position in the Gulf of Guinea and its position in regional markets, particularly via bilateral trade agreements with Angola, Gabon and Nigeria, and even preferential Access to European Union markets, under the terms of the “Everything but Arms” initiative, and the United States, through the AGOA-African Growth and Opportunities Act. (macauhub)