São Tomé e Príncipe: Doing business & staying in touch

Doing business in São Tomé e Príncipe

Office hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1500-1800, Sat 0800-1200.

Economy

The economy is based on the export of agricultural products, especially cocoa, palm oil, bananas, coffee and coconuts. This concentration on cash crops, especially cocoa (most of which is exported) means that the country has to import most of its food.

Elimination of its debt a high priority for the government and it will be able to do this once revenues begin to flow from the oil and gas fields recently discovered in São Tomé's territorial waters.

The government hopes to promote the currently minute tourism industry.

Economic performance in recent years has been improving and is expected to get even better as revenue from oil starts to come in. Growth in 2007 was at 6.5%, with inflation at 17%.

GDP

US$142 million (2007).

Main exports

Cocoa, copra, coffee and palm oil.

Main imports

Food, fuel, machinery and electrical equipment.

Main trading partners

Portugal, The Netherlands, Belgium, France and USA.

Keeping in Touch in São Tomé e Príncipe

Mobile phone

International roaming agreements currently exist with one company. Coverage varies from very good to non-existent, depending on the area on each island.

Internet

Internet cafes are available. Access can be slow and relatively expensive.

Media

Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the constitution and respected.

Private broadcasting is not forbidden by law but the state currently controls a press agency and the only radio and television stations.

Press

• There are three privately owned newspapers, one of which is state-run.
Tela Non Diario de São Tomé e Príncipe is published daily, in Portuguese.

Television

Televisao Saotomense (TVS) is the state-run national broadcaster.

Radio

• Radio Nacional de São Tomé e Príncipe is the state-run national broadcaster.

Edited by Jane Duru
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