Cabo Verde moves to create the first Special Maritime Economic Zone in the Portuguese-speaking countries

17 July 2017

The project of the future Special Economic Zone (EEZ) of São Vicente, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), is a priority for the government and the country is preparing to receive the first facility of this kind, focused on the maritime sector and created with the support of China in the Portuguese-speaking countries.

On a recent visit to the island, accompanied by the ambassador of China, the Cape Verdean Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, said the integrated project provides for maritime transport, port operations, fishing, specialised logistics support services as well as tourism, science and specialised education in the sea sector.

“I have no doubt that we have found the solution and from here we can make all the difference in the medium and long term, in order to get the economy to work and grow, generating jobs and income, creating investment opportunities for entrepreneurs and achieving people’s happiness,” said Correia e Silva.

He said the feasibility study for the project was being prepared, based on the government’s initial concept and with a view to accelerating the implementation of the project.

“The government and our partners, particularly China, are willing to do that. We need to bring the other side – Mindelo society – on board,” he said.

The Cape Verdean government has predicted that the project will be operational by the end of the current term, in just over three years.

From China, support for the project was guaranteed by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a meeting in Praia with his Cape Verdean counterpart Luís Filipe Tavares.

Wang Yi noted the importance of Cabo Verde’s geographical position at the time, adding that the Cape Verdean government “expressed a willingness to participate in the Chinese government’s, ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.”

In an interview with Macao magazine, published in the next issue, Ulisses Correia e Silva said that China is a “privileged partner” in the project, for its role in supporting its creation, but also given the possibility of the EEZ being able to provide services to Chinese companies and to the wider market.

The advantages of the project include the “archipelago’s strategic” location between Europe and West Africa, as well as China’s experience in the creation of EEZs,the Cape Verdean prime minister said in an interview on the sidelines of the recent meeting of Portuguese-speaking entrepreneurs, in the Cape Verdean capital, Praia. (macauhub)