China will contribute US$5 million in direct support to the São Tomé and Príncipe general state budget for 2019, the São Tomé finance minister said in São Tomé on Friday.
Osvaldo Vaz said that China’s direct budget support is in the form of a donation under the cooperation agreement signed between the two countries.
The minister added that China’s support for the current economic year is a 50% reduction compared to that granted in 2018, when the archipelago received US$10 million, after receiving US$11 million in 2017.
Domestic revenues in São Tomé and Príncipe cover only 2.8% of expenditure in the amount of US$150 million included in the State Budget, the remaining 97.2% being covered by external resources in the form of loans and grants.
External resources can be split into 76% to be granted by bilateral partners and the remaining 24% by multilateral organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Twenty-four hours after the approval of the budget, São Tomé’s Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus left the archipelago’s capital for China to attend the Boao Forum for Asia on a one-week mission with meetings scheduled with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Lee Keqiang.
Alongside direct financial support to the State Budget, China has granted other cash and financial aid to São Tomé and Príncipe under the framework cooperation programme between the two countries. (Macauhub)