Africa-Press – Angola. The President of the Republic defended, this Monday, in Luanda, the reinforcement of cooperation with the Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe and regretted the fact that the Bilateral Joint Commission between the two countries had been paralyzed for 15 years.
João Lourenço, who was speaking to the press at the end of the meeting with his Sao Tome counterpart, Carlos Vila Nova, on a two-day state visit to the country, said that this “wrong” situation needs to be corrected.
“Your visit will help us to change this state of affairs, of having been for 15 years without meeting at the Joint Commission level, which is not good at all. first term as Head of State of São Tomé and Príncipe”, he stressed.
The Angolan statesman said that the parties had agreed to reactivate the Bilateral Joint Commission on the 29th and 30th of this month, in São Tomé and Príncipe, taking into account the last meeting in Luanda.
President João Lourenço announced that all issues related to cooperation between the two countries will be addressed at this meeting, with greater emphasis on the sectors of Defense and Security, Fisheries and Sea, Tourism, Interior and Internal Order, Air Transport and Maritime, Mineral Resources, Oil and Commerce, within the framework of the strategic partnership that is intended to be implemented.
He stressed that it is in Angola’s interest that the two States work together to find ways to build a solid political and cooperation base, based on the convergence of interests and the complementarity of the capacities of both sides. countries, thus generating stability factors that influence development and well-being for both peoples.
“No one is independent enough, not even the great powers, to the point of arrogate to the right to say that they do not need to cooperate with anyone”, stressed the President, adding that, from São Tomé, Angola will gain everything possible and in the that the parties identify as useful and in the interest of both.
The President of the Republic explained that the first contacts to strengthen cooperation between the two countries took place in October last year, in Glasgow, Scotland, when he personally met Carlos Vila Nova. “I must say, in a very short way, that, as it is common to say, the current passed easily. That, in politics, helps, when the current passes easily”, he said, leaving open the interpretation of the meaning of the expression “current pass easily”.
Capabilities In Multiple Domains
During the speech regarding the visit of the São Toméan counterpart to Luanda, the President of the Republic stressed that Angola and São Tomé have capacities, in several areas of the economy, that must be strengthened, so that the best benefits can be obtained from the cooperation that will be developed.
In this regard, he referred that Carlos Vila Nova’s visit to Angola represents a great opportunity to address the best way to promote, in a practical sense, all existing initiatives, which aim to inaugurate a new era in the partnership between the two States, making it increasingly broad and diversified.
“We are going to work on creating this new framework for cooperation and exchange, giving priority to State-to-State relations, which transcend different political or other sensitivities, with a view to overcoming the obstacles of the past”, he said.
President João Lourenço added that it is within this pattern of relationship that cooperation between the two countries is intended to develop, changing the current paradigm to a dynamic and active model, which emphasizes the exchange of trade and investment, as well as the revitalization and expansion into untapped sectors.
Direct Private Investment
Regarding direct private investment, the Head of State defended the need to work, in a coordinated way, in the creation of adequate mechanisms and incentives that encourage and stimulate the movement of businessmen, companies and traders from Angola to São Tomé. and Príncipe and vice versa.
He said that this framework will allow, in the near future, achievements and undertakings of significant value for the respective economies, due to the benefits that will result, in terms of economic growth and the consequent creation of jobs.
The Angolan statesman then highlighted the urgent creation of material conditions for the viability of trade between the two countries, in order to meet the fundamental needs in terms of products widely consumed in each of the territories with lower costs, competitive and with guarantees of an acceptable level of quality.
He said that the Agreement on the Exemption of Visas in Diplomatic, Service, Special and Ordinary Passports, existing between the two States, will serve as a lever for the strengthening of friendship and cooperation relations between Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe.
“The Republic of Angola and the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe have a similar history and political path and, for this reason, I believe in the enormous possibilities of cooperation existing between our two countries, with the implementation of projects of mutual interest that favor economic growth and the well-being of the populations of our nations”, he stressed.
The President of the Republic referred that, despite the most varied agreements, memoranda and protocols signed so far, between Angola and São Tomé e Príncipe, the levels of economic cooperation and business exchange are still far below expectations, taking into account the great potential existing between the two countries.
New Development In Relationships
The President of São Tomé and Príncipe, Carlos Vila Nova, said that he has no doubts that cooperation between the two countries will see new developments from now on. “We have no doubts or fear to say that, today, we are even more sure that this journey is strengthened and we will do it for the good of both countries and both peoples”, stressed the Sao Tome statesman, for whom the visit to Angola allowed us to reformulate the new times for the good of the populations of both countries.
“We know that theoretical discourse often hides gaps, but here it is practical, real and well-known that the feeling is deep and real”, he emphasized. This is Carlos Vila Nova’s second visit to Angola, this being the first by State. The first took place in November last year and was to participate in the Luanda Biennial.
Carlos Vila Nova’s program for the country reserves, for today, a trip to the province of Namibe, where a guided visit to the Academy of Fisheries and Marine Sciences is planned. The state visit of Carlos Vila Nova, who arrived in Angola at the beginning of Sunday night, ends tomorrow.
Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe signed, in 1995, an agreement for the Reciprocal Protection of Investments, with a view to creating favorable conditions to stimulate private initiatives and intensify economic cooperation between the two States.
In 2019, areas for a new cooperation strategy were identified, including Tourism, Transport and the Exploration of Hydrocarbons that both countries do offshore.
Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe formalized cooperation on February 19, 1978, through the General Agreement of Friendship and Cooperation, following which several legal instruments were signed, aiming to promote and deepen economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation relations. between the two countries.
The Bilateral Joint Commission, created in January 1980, held its sixth and final session, in Luanda, in November 2007. The two countries, which cooperate in the political, diplomatic and economic fields, are members of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries ( CPLP) and Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP).