Praia, Cape Verde, 15 Jul – Cape Verde and China signed on Wednesday various economic and business agreements during the first meeting of the Joint Committee on Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation, under way since Monday in Beijing.
A note released by the Cape Verdean Foreign Ministry in Praia indicated that the island country’s Foreign Minister, Jose Brito, has been in the Chinese capital since Monday at the invitation of Chinese Commerce Minister Fu Ziying, and that they co-chaired the meeting.
Besides financing projects in various areas, an important underlying aim of this bilateral cooperation is to make Cape Verde, especially Porto Grande (Mindelo, on Sao Vicente Island), a “zone of fishing development and/or economic cooperation for China in the West Africa region”.
China has on other occasions indicated its readiness to examine with Cape Verde the possibility of using facilities at the country’s biggest port for its Atlantic fishing fleet and as a springboard for reaching other countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
In September 2009 the Cape Verdean government announced the presentation of a set of projects budgeted at US$240 million, as well as China’s donation of US$7.5 million to be invested in sectors to be determined by the Cape Verdean and Chinese authorities.
China is one of Cape Verde’s major partners and has various projects under way, especially in the social and anti-poverty areas, with the following standing out: maternity ward, check-up centre and nursing station at Agostinho Neto Hospital, rural schools and the Poilao Dam. Plans also call for Beijing to support construction of a new national stadium. (macauhub)