Over 300 entrepreneurs from China and Portuguese-speaking countries will meet today and tomorrow in Sao Tome today to discuss business partnerships and investment opportunities.
Speaking to Lusa news agency on Sunday, Rafael Branco, the director of the Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APCI), said that this meeting - which will go on until Tuesday - is "an opportunity" to "attract foreign private investment" to Sao Tome and Principe, but acknowledged that "the business environment and the prevailing public administration culture do not make it easy to invest" in the country.
In addition to about 150 foreign representatives, at least 170 Sao Tomean entrepreneurs are expected to attend the 14th Meeting of Entrepreneurs for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries.
According to Rafael Branco, the vast majority of foreign attendees come from China, but there will also be Portuguese, Angolan, Mozambican and Timorese entrepreneurs.
The official lamented the absence of Brazil, which will not attend the event "due to internal matters."
Rafael Branco said that the two-day meeting - the motto of which is 'Promoting Economic Growth and Shared Prosperity' - will be "well represented in terms of countries, entrepreneur associations, and individual entrepreneurs."
The opening ceremony will be hosted by Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus, who will take the floor after the Deputy Secretary-General of the Macau Forum Permanent Secretariat, Ting Tian, and the Vice President of the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.
The meeting's 14th edition is held by Sao Tome and Príncipe's Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.