African forum important: Cabo Verde FM

By Zhang Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/1 22:53:40

Beijing event later this year offers opportunities for island nation

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit is an important mechanism to boost international collaboration and Cabo Verde is looking forward to the huge opportunities brought about by the event, visiting Foreign Minister Luis Filipe Lopes Tavares told the Global Times on Thursday.

"We believe that the forum will promote an effective strategic partnership based on cooperation programs that shall converge China's Belt and Road initiative with the African Union's Agenda 2063 in order to promote mutual gains for our economies," Tavares told the Global Times in an interview.

Cabo Verde Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva will attend the forum in Beijing later this year, Tavares also confirmed. The exact date for the forum is not set yet.

Cabo Verde has joined the Belt and Road initiative and is eager to deepen economic cooperation with China, starting with a special economic zone in Sao Vicente Island, Tavares said.

Cabo Verde, a small archipelago off the coast of West Africa, enjoys a crucial geostrategic position at the heart of the Atlantic.

While the country benefits from Chinese aid and investment in its infrastructure and service industries, it is also believed by some observers to play an important role in helping China secure trade routes in the Atlantic and influence in Africa.

Tavares was on a three-day visit to Beijing with the purpose of boosting bilateral economic ties and promoting tourism to Chinese people.

"In terms of economic complementarity and strengthening of trade relations, there is a vast potential to be explored. It is important to continue the journey and reinforce cultural exchange and mutual knowledge, always based on respect and autonomy in choosing the development path," he said.

As a country where tourism accounts for approximately 25 percent of its GDP, Cabo Verde hopes to attract growing numbers of Chinese tourists to the island with their great spending power. 

"Macao's Legend Development Ltd has begun constructing a $250 million hotel casino on Santiago Island," Tavares said.


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