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Catching the Chinese train

Joining the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries will be a “great advantage” to São Tomé and Príncipe, according to its President

The President of São Tomé and Príncipe has stated that joining the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Forum Macao) will be a “great advantage”, especially at an “economic” level and for “the possibility of allowing investments” that could boost the country’s economy.
African country São Tomé and Príncipe became a member of Forum Macao in March of this year, after cutting its diplomatic ties with Taiwan and reinstating ties with Mainland China.
In an interview with news agency Lusa, President Evaristo Carvalho stated that his country reinitiated diplomatic relations with the Asian country because it couldn’t miss out on being part of Chinese development, with the decision allowing for the signing of a five-year cooperation agreement.
The Prime-Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe, Patrice Trovoada, signed a five-year cooperation agreement with his Chinese counterpart, Premier Li Keqiang on April 12 of this year.
“We couldn’t have missed the train. We believe this was the right policy, and as the President, I have received many congratulatory messages from ambassadors from other countries,” the country’s President, Evaristo Carvalho, said in the interview.
When questioned if the decision announced by his government on December 20 of last year to reinstate diplomatic relations with Mainland China was only motivated by economic interests, the head of state only mentioned that it was a “correct and considered” decision.
“China is nowadays one of the countries that has provided more support to development, especially to the African continent,” he added.
As of now, Mainland China has provided US$1 billion (MOP8 billion) to finance projects in Portuguese-speaking countries through Forum Macao and the Co-operation and Development Fund, having granted almost US$100 billion in financial support to African countries since 2000. with Lusa