"There is great hope in the resumption of TAAG trips, which connect Angola, Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe, on a triangular route," said Filipe Nascimento in Praia, after being received by the president of the Cape Verde National Assembly, Austelino Correia.
A little over a year ago Filipe Nascimento was in Cape Verde, having at the time asked for the support of Cape Verdean businessmen for the industrialization of that island and the increase in exports as an alternative to tourism.
The official said that the challenge still stands, but considered that the challenge is the lack of a direct connection between the two archipelagos, which would have the support of Angola.
"This route, for us, whether for São Tomé or Príncipe in particular, is extremely strategic and important, because it is more direct and also cheaper", said Nascimento, who has led that autonomous region of São Tomé and Príncipe since August of 2020.
The air carrier TAAG performed direct flights from Luanda to the island of Sal, suspended since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, with no known intention or deadline for resumption.
In March, the prime ministers of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva, and of São Tomé and Príncipe, Jorge Bom Jesus, pointed to the possibility of resuming direct air connections between the two archipelagos involving Angola, in a "tripartite" solution that guarantees the "profitability" of the operation.
"We are following with great expectation, we are looking at this as an indicator that will largely stimulate this business relationship", considered the president of the regional government of Príncipe, an island where about 80 percent of the population is Cape Verdean or descendant of this archipelago.
Filipe Nascimento is in Cape Verde at the invitation of the National Association of Cape Verdean Municipalities (ANMCV), through which he will maintain contacts with other authorities and local entrepreneurs, especially those linked to the transformation and conservation of products.
"We hope that, with the timely resumption of a more direct connection, there will be better conditions for Cape Verdean businessmen to approach our market and choose business opportunities, which in due course will also be vice versa", he insisted.
And he guaranteed that there are already several Cape Verdean companies "with the intention" and need to expand their business to São Tomé and Príncipe, which he said has fostered the attraction of foreign direct investment, mainly private, to complement State actions.
"I see the potential of Cape Verdean companies to be able to internationalize and, with legislation prone to investment, naturally we are always with open arms to welcome investors who choose, whether the country or the autonomous region of Príncipe in particular, for their investment", he said, hoping that these "good signs" coming from Cape Verde will be materialized with the resumption of direct air connections.
In addition to the business issue, the president will discuss with Cape Verdean universities and educational establishments the possibility of resuming the mobility of São Tomé students to Cape Verde, which was suspended due to the covid-19 pandemic.
It also provides for the exchange of experience in territory management, administrative and financial management between the regional government of Príncipe and Cape Verdean municipalities.
Filipe Nascimento is a young professional from Príncipe, of Cape Verdean descent and graduated in Law in Portugal, who for several years worked at the Municipality of Oeiras.