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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Cape Verde

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

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. 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$1.6 billion (2007).

Main exports

Shoes, clothes, fish, bananas and salt.

Main imports

Petroleum, foodstuffs, consumer goods and machinery.

Main trading partners

Portugal, Japan, The Netherlands and USA.

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.

Internet

Major hotels offer laptop connections. Public access is available at the offices of Cabo Verde Telecom. Privately-run business centres in the main towns offer e-mail, Internet and fax facilities.

Media

A free press is guaranteed by law, but most media are state-controlled. There are a few private radio stations. Portuguese and French radio are available via FM relays.

Post

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