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Basic Information

Cape Verde is located in the middle of the Northern Atlantic and it is at the crossroads connecting the three major continents – America, Africa and Europe and as a transit hub between South America and Central Europe. The land area is 4,033 square kilometres, accommodating a population of about 562,000. The capital Praia is the political, economic, cultural and financial centre of the country. Other economic centres include S. Vincente, Sal and Boavista islands cities.

Investment Situation

Cape Verde has stable political situation and high transparency on policies. The per capita income and quality of life are among the highest in the Africa. Moreover, the tourism, renewable energy and textile industries have also good opportunities for co-operation in some of the country’s islands.

 

The Cape Verdean economy is dominated by service sector, which accounts for about 75% of GDP, mainly including tourism, transportation, business and public services. Among them, the tourism is the main source of economic growth and employment which attracted foreign direct investment accounting for 85% in the whole country’s foreign direct investment. In addition, agriculture and fishing industry play an important role in economy position. The country has an exclusive marine economic zone of 734,000 square kilometres. The fishery resources are relatively rich, which has not yet been fully developed and utilised.

 

According to the “2021 World Investment Report” published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), at the end of 2020, Cape Verde has attracted US$2.46 billion on stock of inward direct investment. According to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce of China, at the end of 2020, the stock in direct investment of China in Cape Verde was US$2.82 million. The main projects in investment co-operation are construction, alluminum alloys, communication and TV media.

Trade in Goods

In 2020, the main export destinations of Cape Verde include Spain, Portugal, Italy and the United States. The main export goods are fish and crustaceans, clothes, and shoes. Main import origins include Portugal, Spain, China and the Netherlands. The main imported goods include mineral goods, automobiles and machines.

 

In 2020, China’s exports to Cape Verde include fish products, TV receiver and data processing units. China’s imports from Cape Verde mainly include refined copper.

 

Economic Indicators

2019(a)

2020(a)

2021(b)

2022(c)

Population (thousand)

550

556.0

562.0

GDP (US$ million)

1,981.8

1,703.7

1,824.4

Real GDP growth rate (%)

5.7

-14.8

4.5

5.3

Total exports (US$ million)

265.7

128.7

143.5

Total imports (US$ million)

-928.7

-788.1

-869.4

Consumer Price Index (%)

1.1

0.6

1.0

1.5

Current account balance (US$ million)

0.1

-273.8

-326.8

Exchange rate (Escudo CVE : USD)

98.5

96.8

92.4

Remarks: (a) actual value; (b) estimated value of Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU); (c) estimates of Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Source: Country Report Q4 2021 (Cape Verde) by the British Economist Intelligence Unit

 

Main export and import goods destinations

Main export destinations (2020)

Proportion in total exports of goods (%)

Spain

68.4

Portugal

9.7

Italy 

8.4

USA

5.0

Others

8.5

 

Main source of import (2020)

Proportion in total imports of goods (%)

Portugal

42.9

Spain 

11.2

China

9.7

The Netherlands

8.2

Others

28.0

Source: International Trade Center (ITC)

 

 

Main export and import goods

Major export goods (2020)

Proportion in total exports of goods (%)

 Preparation of meat, of fish or of crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates

48.9

Fish and crustaceans, mollucks and other aquatic invertebrates

26.7

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories knitted or crocheted.

3.1

Footwear, gaiters and the like; parts of such articles

2.7

Others

18.6

 

Major import goods (2020)

Proportion in total imports of goods (%)

Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes

14.0

Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling-stock, and parts and accessories thereof

10.9

Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; parts thereof

7.4

 Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles

6.3

Others

61.4

Source: International Trade Center (ITC)

 

Statistics on Trade in Services

Main Export of Services (2020)

Proportion in total exports of services (%)

Tourism

549

Transportation

18.3

Other business services

9.6

Other

17.2

Main Import of Services (2020)

Proportion in total imports of services (%)

Transportation

27.9

Other Business Service

24.8

Tourism

23.7

Other

23.6

Remarks:The above content is the estimated data of UNCTAD, WTO and ITC.

Source:International Trade Centre (ITC)

 

 

Statistics on the trade in goods between Mainland China and Cape Verde (US$ 10,000)

Year

Total trade

Total exports value *

Total imports value **

2020

7,899.9

7,778.9

0.1

2019

6,420.9

6,418.1

2.9

2018

7,856.0

7,827.0

29.0

2017

6,922.9

6,922.1

0.8

2016

4,870.2

4,861.9

8.3

Remarks: * Value of goods exported to Cape Verde from Mainland China; **Value of goods imported from Cape Verde to Mainland China

Source: General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China

Sources:

  • Country (region) guide for foreign investment co-operation (Cape Verde) by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China 
  • “2020 Statistical Bulletin of China’s Outward Foreign Direct Investment” by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China 
  • General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China
  • International Trade Center (ITC)
  • SinoMaps Press
  • Country Report Q4 2021 (Cabo Verde) by the British Economist Intelligence Unit
  • 2021 World Investment Report by the UNCTAD

Updated in October 2021.