China Strengthens Business Ties With Portuguese-Speaking West Africa

Written by Dana Sanchez

The Chinese government and Chinese companies are launching tourism, fisheries and media projects in Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde as part of an effort to increase business with Portuguese-speaking West African countries, MacauHub reported.

China’s Fujian Shai Corp. is financing a US$300 million project to build a five-star luxury hotel and fishing complex in Prabis, 18 kilometres southwest of Bissau in the Biombo region.

Plans include building a fishing port to unload fish and reconstruction of the road between Bissau and Prabis, according to a statement from Yang Ming, president of the Chinese company. The projects are expected to create 3,000 jobs.

There are also plans to establish a free-trade zone in the Southern Biombo region, according to recent talks between Guinean Prime Minister Carlos Correia and Chinese Ambassador Wang Hua.

In Cabo Verde, China wants to finance the new headquarters of public media company, Rádio Televisão de Cabo Verde e Inforpress (RTCI), with the Cabo Verdean government. Construction is set to begin in 2017.

Guinea-Bissau Telecom and Chinese telecommunications manufacturer Huawei this month signed a US$60 million contract to relaunch mobile network coverage by installing 150 signal relay stations equipped with the latest technology, MacauHub reported.

Huawei later said that there is no contract, but that it is interested in establishing a “good partnership” with the Guinean government.

China’s involvement in Guinea Bissau is most visible in building infrastructure and in agriculture, including cashew cultivation and a training center where local farmers get technical training.

China has distributed computer equipment and training in Cabo Verde’s communications sector, and is expected this month to donate equipment worth about US$1 million, according to Justino Miranda, director general of social communication.