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26 years of CPLP: the economy and the sea in the future of the community

On July 17, 1996, exactly 26 years ago, Portugal, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe created the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), which Timor-Leste joined in 2002, after gaining independence. In 2014 it was Equatorial Guinea’s turn to become the ninth member of this organization. The future looks bright, according to States, and in the short term, more economic issues are being looked at, with the sea as a ‘background’.

In 2022, and after many steps taken within the community, the CPLP believes that the idea created in 1996 was the most correct. “It is a unique and irreplaceable organization that brings together geographically dispersed countries united by a common language, united by the idea that in diversity we can contribute decisively to a fairer and more solidary world”, said Zacarias da Costa, executive secretary of the CPLP, in a message to purpose of this anniversary. Augusto Santos Silva, President of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal, also marked the 26th anniversary of the founding of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), highlighting the cooperation between its Member States and the recent mobility agreement. united by language, by cooperation and now also, with the mobility agreement, by citizenship. The CPLP Parliamentary Assembly is an important forum for consultation between member states”, wrote Augusto Santos Silva on his Twitter account. The mobility agreement in the CPLP countries, it should be remembered, was ratified very recently and after this step others follow, namely economic issues and the relationship with the sea between these members. that the United Nations has on the table the proposal to expand the continental shelf of countries that have the sea as a border.

Which means that all these countries, our countries, if this orientation is adopted, will strengthen this continental shelf and then there is yet another aspect in this community: language today is a decisive instrument for the economy. And due to the uniqueness of the Portuguese-speaking countries integrated in the CPLP, it also happens that, all the members bordering the sea, have immeasurable economic potential at sea and even the potential to contribute to the security of the South Atlantic, considering the importance that in this South Atlantic there is the African continent”, revealed Vítor Ramalho, secretary general of the Union of Portuguese-Speaking Capital Cities (UCCLA) to the Diário de Notícias de Portugal.

Ratification of Equatorial Guinea

This importance of the economy for the CPLP has meanwhile been recognized within the organization, with the Member States holding the first tripartite ministerial meeting – Economy, Trade and Finance -, where they “approved the Strategic Agenda for Economic Cooperation 2022-2027, the alongside the creation of the Forum of Trade and Investment Promotion Agencies”, as highlighted by Zacarias da Costa.

“These enormous advances will make it possible to establish a business environment that will stimulate commercial exchanges and investments in the CPLP space”, he adds. The issue of mobility is also on the table as a bet for the future. In this sense, the CPLP created the so-called Mobility Agreement, adopted a year ago in the
Luanda Summit and which at this moment has not yet been ratified by Equatorial Guinea. “This agreement will allow for a greater circulation of knowledge and innovation, of cultural goods and services, a greater circulation of academic exchanges, tourism and economic and business cooperation”, lists the Timorese.

In Vítor Ramalho’s opinion, the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries must also be aware of the new global geostrategic reality, which is opening up as a result of the war in Ukraine, noting that Portuguese-speaking nations are in a position to deepen this new framework. “Europe is weakened, it is aging, although it is the region with the greatest potential from the commercial point of view, it is no less certain that it has not deepened triangular relations with Africa and Latin America. Now, Portugal is able, at the mercy of Brazil and the presence of the Portuguese language and of interest and affective relations in Africa, to be an absolutely decisive instrument for the European Union itself in reinforcing what it has to do for the affirmation of its own importance on a planetary scale”.

An idea that seems to be shared by Zacarias da Costa. “The current context in which we live has reinforced the importance of multilateralism as a way of promoting the sharing of knowledge and the exchange of experiences and thus providing partnerships and joint responses to face the various challenges that the world faces”, underlines the secretary. CPLP executive. “On this anniversary, the idea that led to the creation of the CPLP 26 years ago remains valid and current”, he concludes.

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