|Bilateral consultation meeting set for Sept. 23 in Paris|
A delegation headed by the general director for International Cooperation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Júlio Morais, and made up of officials from other government sectors, will travel today to Paris to participate in a bilateral consultation meeting with French Cooperation officials and evaluate the current state of affairs of French-Cape Verdean cooperation. The meeting will be used to begin discussions on a Cooperation Framework Program, a type of indicative program that will define the axes of cooperation and the timeframe of the programs to be implemented. France is expected to increase its financing package to Cape Verde from 2 million to 6 million euros.
The Cape Verdean officials are taking a series of projects with them to Paris, including the widening of the runway at São Pedro airport in São Vicente, and a viability study for a container terminal at the Praia sea port. According to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs source, Cape Verde hopes French authorities will be sensitive to their request fro the establishment of a credit line that would permit private operators to acquire marine transportation units. Cape Verde will also request financing for an Emergency Program aimed at providing public employment in rural areas to ease the effects of this years less-than-optimum agricultural season.
A credit line for Cape Verdes municipalities is already considered to be a given. The viability study has already been concluded, and the credit is expected to be made available beginning in January of next year.
The September 23 meeting in Paris is merely a step in the new model of cooperation between France and Cape Verde, the outlines of which began to be drawn up during Prime Minister José Maria Neves visit to Paris in April. This will be complemented by the visit planned by Frances Minister of Cooperation, Development and Francophony, Xavier Darcos, to Cape Verde next February. The first France / Cape Verde Business Meeting is also expected to take place in Praia at the same time, involving business operators from both countries.