Guinea-Bissau: State wants EU licence to export fish to Europe

Guinea-Bissau’s Foreign Minister, Suzi Barbosa, said Wednesday that one of the main priorities for cooperation between Guinea-Bissau and the European Union is the fisheries agreement.

“Our big priority at the moment with the European Union is the fisheries agreement, in the sense that we finally have accreditation to export our fish to the EU. We already have a laboratory, we want to continue the process, so that we can accredit our fish to be exported to Europe,” she said, speaking to journalists after meeting with the Director-General of the European External Action Service, Ambassador Rita Laranjinha, who is in Bissau on a bilateral visit and taking part in the 14th meeting of national authorising officers for the European Development Fund for Portuguese-language African Countries and East Timor, which is due to take place on Thursday.

“This will not only allow an increase in revenues at the level of our economy, but also allow an improvement in people’s lives. It will allow the creation of more jobs, it will allow more work for the fish sellers. All of this will activate our economy and have a direct impact on improving living conditions,” noted Barbosa.

Guinea-Bissau has the third-largest fishing agreement with the European Union, after Morocco and Mauritania.

The latest agreement for the period 2019-2024, authorises 50 European vessels to fish in Bissau-Guinean waters.

In return, the European Union gives Guinea-Bissau annual financial compensation of 15.6 million euros.

Barbosa noted that, in addition to fisheries, the other main sectors of cooperation with the EU are in the areas of health, education, agriculture and infrastructure.

Barbosa also noted that the national indicative programme will soon be signed with the EU, which did not exist “a few years ago” and that this is “proof” that there is stability in Guinea-Bissau, “because as a rule the EU does not sign a programme with countries that do not have stability”.

“This leads us to understand that we are on the right track,” she said.