Air and maritime transports have long been identified as a major bottleneck for economic growth and development of Cabo Verde. Flying to Lisbon, Portugal, is often cheaper than flying between islands, and moving goods internally is also expensive for local companies. A revamp of air and maritime transports, a priority for the local Government, is finally taking form, but with mixed prospects.
China is involved in eight port projects, which have either been completed or announced in Portuguese-speaking countries, as a construction company or through funding, according to a recent survey by the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS).
Visitor numbers to Cabo Verde are continuing to grow year-on-year but there are fears that the focus on all-inclusive hotels restricts the development of local restaurants, cafes and other tourist sector businesses.
The Portuguese-speaking countries (PSCs) will play a key role in the future of Macau outlined in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) Plan of the Central Government of China.
Mozambique has exceeded expectations in terms of global connectivity, according to the latest ranking by multinational DHL, in which Timor-Leste was the only Portuguese-speaking country included to increase competitiveness compared with the previous year.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) recommends coastal African countries, including Portuguese-speaking countries, to expand port infrastructure as a means of improving integration on the continent.
An investment of 32.7 million euros, currently in the process of completion, has made Praia International Airport in the capital of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) one of the most modern in the region, according to the African Development Bank (ADB), which is financing the work.
The World Bank has revised its economic growth forecasts for Angola, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) and Mozambique in 2019 and 2020 upwards, unlike Guinea-Bissau.
China and the Portuguese-speaking countries were linked in 2018 by a number of new ventures, and the process of getting closer continues in the new year under the New Silk Road.
Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) is in the top three countries in sub-Saharan Africa with the highest quality public policies and institutions, according to a list drawn up by the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group.
Brazil, Mozambique and Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) have fallen back a few places in the latest edition of the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum, in which Angola is in the lowest position among Portuguese-speaking countries.
Economic relations with Africa have been losing importance for Brazil’s governments, which ignore the continent’s potential, unlike China and other emerging economies, according to the Brazil-Africa Institute.
Macau’s Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) is looking to increase support for the more than 40,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the territory, said Carlos Cid Álvares, the bank’s chief executive told the Tribuna de Macau newspaper.
Since China became Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009, trade has continued to flourish, aided by cooperative frameworks put in place by the Chinese government and its African counterparts. The momentum is expected to build over the medium term, and the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation in September is likely to help ensure that these increasingly close economic ties become even closer.
Five of the six Portuguese-speaking African countries are on the list of 44 states that have subscribed to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) project, which received a generally positive reception from civil society.
Trade between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries has increased 11-fold since Forum Macau was set up in 2003, and the Forum has played a “very important role” in Chinese globalisation, said China’s Deputy Minister of Commerce.
China’s direct investment in Portuguese-speaking countries has reached US$$50 billion, Macau Forum Secretary-General Xu Yingzhen said in an interview with local Portuguese-language newspaper Tribuna de Macau.
São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), the three smallest Portuguese-speaking African economies, are expected to see economic growth in 2018 well above the average for the sub-Saharan Africa region, according to the latest forecast from the International Monetary Fund.
Business projects involving China and Portuguese-speaking countries have been receiving official Chinese funding, but the deepening of this cooperation in the “era” of the New Silk Road requires innovative financial mechanisms, the president of the Fund for Cooperation and Development between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries said in Lisbon.
The diversification of the Cabo Verdean economy is high on the list of priorities for the archipelago’s government, which intends to attract more investment, especially for infrastructure, to improve the business environment and to open up to emerging economies, Portuguese trade and investment promotion agency AICEP Portugal Global said recently.