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Date: 14/07/2008
Trade boost for Cape Verde

The economic development of Cape Verde, one of the fastest growing emerging property markets, takes a step forward later this month when the country become a member of the World Trade Organisation.

According to analysts this will facilitate further growth and development and have a clear impact on investment.

'Membership will enable Cape Verde to participate more fully in the global economy and will provide the country with a predictable and stable basis for growth and development,' said Pascal Lamy, director-general of the WTO.

It will help with the major infrastructure development that is currently underway. 'A lot still needs to be done to the infrastructure of Cape Verde. There are a lot of opportunities for investors and that's why a lot of people are interested,' said John Farrelly of London International Property.

Projects include a new airport and the port of Praia is being modernised and expanded. A great deal of money is coming in from overseas. Private sector investment from the US is expected to be high. Some investors regard it as a cheaper version of the Caribbean.

'The government as well as private investors with million dollar stakes in Cape Verde foresee the likes of Sal, Boa Vista, Santiago and Sao Vicente becoming direct rivals to Caribbean islands for tourism and luxury real estate,' said one commentator.

The property industry on the islands backs this up. 'People assume that Cape Verde's "discovery" and development has been an accident - this is far from the truth. There is a blueprint for the development of the islands to become direct rivals to the Caribbean. Everything is being done to ensure that Cape Verde, the closest tropical islands to the UK and Europe, becomes a high end, long-term, sustainable destination for tourism and luxury grade property,' said Adrian Lillywhite, Managing Director of Cape Verde Property Ltd.

'You only have to look so far as the Hilton Group which is developing a sybaritic resort on Sal. They are marketing it as pure five star opulence and they are following hot on the heels of the American luxury hotel and leisure brand Nikki Beach which has already committed to projects on Sal. The group is developing a resort and it is also involved with one of the most exclusive developments to get underway on the island already, namely Paradise Beach,' he added.


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