The meeting between José Maria Neves and Wen Jiabao in Beijing could not have been better, with both leaders affirming their firm intention to strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation even more and to increase trade between China and Cape Verde.
To reiforce the sincerity of his country’s intentions, the Chinese premier announced a financial package to support new development programs in Cape Verde. US$ 8.5 million of the US$ 21 million package consists of donations, while the remaining US$ 12.5 million will come in the form of interest-free loans. The programs to be financed through the package are expected to be decided upon during the next meeting of the China-Cape Verde Mixed Commission, the date of which is expected to be announced shortly, according to José Maria Neves.
Several of Cape Verde’s proposals will be assessed for possible approval by the Chinese government, especially in the area of infrastructures, but also in sectors such as tourism, air transportation, the maritime economy, information technology, energy and higher education. Speaking at the meeting, Cape Verde’s Prime Minister highlighted some of the priorities of cooperation for the country, namely the São Vicente deep-water port and fishing logistics center and the transformation of shipyard Cabnave into a support base for international shipping fleets, including that of China, as well as the privatization of TACV Cabo Verde Airlines and water and electricity utility Electra.
The meeting was also used to evaluate what has been achieved so far within the scope of the partnership between the two countries. The balance has, on the whole, been extremely positive, and served as an opportunity to open up new paths in terms of cooperation.
Since Cape Verde’s independence, the People’s Republic of China has been one of the country’s main partners in development, and various large-scale projects have been concluded with financing from the Chinese government.