Brazilian president to ratify forgiving Cape Verde’s debt

29 June 2010

Praia, Cape Verde, 29 Jun – Brazil is to sign with Cape Verde an agreement forgiving the island country’s US$3.5 million debt, the Brazilian ambassador to Cape Verde has indicated.

Maria Dulce Barros told Portuguese news agency Lusa on Monday that this was one of the practical results of the enhanced trade relations between Brazil and Cape Verde which will be covered at this Saturday’s bilateral summit meeting on the Cape Verdean island of Sal, attended by Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.

“Forgiving the debt had already been agreed, even though Cape Verde has always met its commitments. But a framework was needed, and this is what will happen, enabling Cape Verde to have better conditions to obtain funding for development projects,” the Brazilian diplomat said.

The agenda of Lula da Silva’s visit to Cape Verde will cover air and sea transportation, trade relations and especially “strategic issues” linked to security, namely the fight against drug-trafficking. He will also take part in an unprecedented summit with his counterparts from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), scheduled for Saturday as well.

Trade relations between the two countries have been functioning on a one-way basis and fell off slightly in 2009 due to the international financial crisis.

The figure of US$40 million exported to Cape Verde in 2008 dropped to US$35 million last year, Barros said.

In the other direction, Brazilian imports from Cape Verde remained stable at a residual US$30,000, making for a “huge” Cape Verdean trade deficit with Brazil. (macauhub)