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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Cape Verde

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Cape Verde: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Cape Verde

All correspondence should be in English or French. Most of Cape Verde's business links are with Portugal.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1230 and 1430-1800.

Economy

Cabo Verde’s economy is mainly service-oriented, relying on tourism, transport, commerce and foreign investment. However about one quarter of the working population is engaged in agriculture. Maize and beans are the main crops; a variety of fruit and vegetables are also grown.

Though agriculture is the main trade of Cabo Verde’s workforce, the islands lack natural resources and the majority of food must be imported from other countries. The agricultural sector is especially vulnerable to the periodic droughts that afflict the islands, often lasting for several years. Meanwhile, the fishing industry is vastly important, contributing almost half of the total export earnings.

A further vital source of national income is the wages of Cape Verdeans working abroad - some 700,000 Cape Verdeans have emigrated, mainly to the USA.

The larger hotels on the main islands can provide conference facilities.

GDP

US$1.776 billion (2017).

Main exports

Fuel re-exports, shoes, clothes, fish (mostly processed and frozen), hides, bananas and coffee.

Main imports

Petroleum, foodstuffs, consumer goods, machinery, transport equipment.

Main trading partners

Cabo Verde mainly exports goods to Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands. It imports goods from Portugal Spain, The Netherlands and China.

Keeping in Touch in Cape Verde

Telephone

Improvements to rural areas are in progress.

Mobile Phone

Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies, but travellers should check with their service provider. Coverage is variable, but generally good in towns.

For unlocked phones, buying a pre-paid SIM card to use in Cape Verde is a cheaper option than paying expensive roaming fees for calls and texts. Cabo Verde Telecom and T+ Mobile both operate in the area.

Internet

Major hotels offer laptop connections. Public access is available at the offices of Cabo Verde Telecom. T+ Mobile also offers services in Cape Verde. Privately run business centres in the main towns offer e-mail, Internet and fax facilities. Some cafés and restaurants across the islands also offer WiFi.

Media

A free press is guaranteed by law, but most media are state-controlled. There are a few private radio stations. The Cape Verdean government runs TCV, the main television channel, and Radio Nacional De Cabo Verde. Community radio has a larger presence in Cape Verde than print media due to the difficulty of distributing papers to every island. Print publications in Cape Verde include weekly papers like A Semana, Expresso de Ilhas, and A Nação, along with Artiletra, a monthly paper. Portuguese and French radio are both available via FM relays.

Post

Postal facilities can be slow with deliveries to Europe normally taking over a week.