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Wednesday, 16 March 2011 10:39

Fine Beaches, Beautiful Scenery and Exotic Culture

By Kester Kenn Klomegah

MOSCOW, March 16, 2011 (Buziness Africa) – Cape Verde is an archipelago of nine islands lying like a jewelled necklace off the coast of west Africa. Until recently, Cape Verde's beauty was largely kept a secret – the long beaches of endless white sand, surrounded by turquoise ocean. Nowadays, the Cape Verde islands are opening up to tourists and for tourism, especially for holiday makers searching for a rich blend of fresh holiday experiences.


Even the Cape Verde people are unique, being a cultural mix of their two nearest neighbours – Senegal and Brazil, this combination is most obvious in the ever-present Cape Verde music; a scintillating hip-swinging fusion of Samba and Salsa sprinkled with tribal African.


capo-verde-Trushinthe Honorary Consul of the republic of Cape Verde in Moscow, Theodore F. TrushinIf you want to enjoy business profit at the fine beaches, beautiful scenery, vibrant cultures and have a sense of adventure Cape Verde will not disappoint, says the Honorary Consul of the republic of Cape Verde in Moscow, Theodore F. Trushin, in this interview with Kester Kenn Klomegah in Moscow.


Buziness Africa: What, in your assessment, is the level of Russia's presence in the economy Cape Verde? What are Russia's interest areas on the island?

Trushin: First of all, I want to thank the magazine for your interest in the development of relations between the republic of Cape Verde which I have the honor to represent in the Russian Federation, as well as the opportunity afforded me to speak to you.


In my opinion, the level of Russia's presence in the economy of Cape Verde is very low. With that, in Cape Verde, there are favorable conditions for strengthening economic and trade cooperation, establishing links with the subjects of the Russian Federation. This is due to many factors: PKB - a politically stable country, has a reputation for safety, because costs largely without the conflicts in the political, religious and racial grounds, a principle of separation of powers, functioning democratic institutions, there is economic growth (in 2008 the republic of Cape Verde was admitted into the World Trade Organization) the leadership spends a stable and balanced policy, Cape Verde, has established good relations with its neighbors in the west African region, in connection with the terrorist threat on the islands is minimized.


In my opinion, the most promising areas of economic cooperation between the republic of Cape Verde and the Russian Federation are tourism, development and logistics. These trends are explained by climatic, ethnographic, political and geo-strategic characteristics of Cape Verde.


On the islands of dry tropical climate, the average temperature in July-August +28-32 ˚ C in January and February +23-25 ˚ C average water temperature in the ocean from +22 ˚ C in February to +26 ˚ C in October. On the islands, the wind is always blowing that helps carry a good summer heat, rainfall during the year falls slightly. Practically no pests, so typical for this region of tropical diseases (malaria, yellow fever, amoebic dysentery, etc.) are also unavailable.


With regards to human factors, speaking from a position of the Russian people, I can say that the peculiarities of Cape Verdean ethnic groups, the country has something similar to the formation of the Russian as a country.


I would like to tell you one very specific incident. In August 2008, in Russia on a private visit was the deputy speaker of parliament, Cape Verde, Mr. Santos and his wife. The cultural program we visited, including the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. In one of the halls, Mr. Santos suddenly noticed a small medallion with an image of Sir Francis Drake, we had a lively conversation in Portuguese. I was surprised by the story of Mr. Santos, the connection between Sir Drake of the first settlement of Europeans in west Africa Cidade Velha on the island of Santiago. What a surprise it was a married couple, when our conversation has joined the Hermitage tour guide, though she said in Russian, but has expressed the deepest knowledge of culture and ethnography of Cape Verde. Mr. Santos has even suggested that the guide specifically prepared for our meeting (just kidding).

With regards to political circumstances, we repeated the recognition by UNESCO of the republic of Cape Verde, a country with the most stable political system speaks for itself. A simple glance at the map of the world clearly makes it clear all the charm of its geostrategic location of the islands.


Buziness Africa: Is Russian tourism to the island increasing and what strategies your mission has taken to raise tourism flow to Cape Verde?
Trushin: Answering this question I have to state as follows: Unfortunately, the flow of Russian tourists to Cape Verde has not increased. Several reasons for this: first and foremost - the lack of direct flights between Moscow and Cape Verde. In 2002, in my opinion (and not only mine), the management of Aeroflot has taken a wrong decision to stop air service with many countries in the world, including the PKB.


The fact that the transplant increases the travel time, airfare, besides the majority of Russian tourists either does not own or have a poor command of foreign languages, which creates a language barrier and fear to go in a very remote region. The second reason - obviously insufficient information about the tourist attraction of Cape Verde in Russia. The third reason - the relatively low level of development of tourism infrastructure on the islands. The fourth reason - mental inertia of the largest tour operators in Russia. And on the basis of the above problems and develops strategy of our mission to both the development of Russian tourism on the archipelago, and to promote the republic of Cape Verde in the Russian Federation.


We, as part of the Honorary Consulate of PKB in Moscow, built a very constructive relationship with the Russian embassy in Cape Verde, the active, yet largely informational, cooperation with tour operators with Russian ("Intourist", "Megapolus Tours", "Natalie Tour , «ParadiseTime»), and Portuguese («FS Group»), Cape Verdean (hotel chain «Oasis»). Together with the Russian embassy in BWR are actively working to restore direct air links between our two countries. For all the information channels available to us form a positive image of Cape Verde for a Russian investor.


Buziness Africa: Do you also think that the government of Cape Verde has taken enough policies to attract foreign investors including potential Russian business investors? What should be change to facilitate investment in the country?

Trushin: With regard to the adequacy of efforts by the Government of the Republic of Cape Verde in attracting foreign investors, I can say that I find it difficult to assess the country's leaders, whose interests I represent. In my opinion, the legal regime for foreign investors, including Russian, a BWR is very attractive. Prospects for investors are clear. The only thing missing is an active campaign at the state level.


Buziness Africa: As the Honorary Consul in the Russian Federation, what can you say are the key problems and challenges that still remained to overcome in order to make way for strengthening economic cooperation and to improve the overall relations between Russia and Cape Verde?

Trushin: A key problem in economic cooperation, I believe emerged after the 1992 Russian currency default. The Soviet Union pursued an active foreign policy, including through the development of economic cooperation and economic aid to underdeveloped and developing countries. Is no exception in this sense, and PKB.


Since independence and until the mid `90's Russia and Cape Verde have close economic relations, which are then virtually ceased, but not because of changes in political direction, but solely due to changes in the economic system in Russia. Public economics of the Soviet Union turned to a private Russian economy, and even state-owned companies operate solely on the basis of market principles. Unfortunately, we shared a considerable distance. Large public companies are mainly raw materials orientation, so in terms of markets they are attracted to Europe, USA and China.


In terms of technological cooperation to attract the country and counterparties with the same  areas, such as with Venezuela, Algeria, Vietnam, etc. At the same time, private capital in Russia is developing very rapidly, investors are increasingly turning their attention to countries with favorable economic and financial regime and a stable economic system, so I suppose that in the next 10 years between the Russian Federation and the republic of Cape Verde will actively increase cooperation in logistics (Cape Verde as a transit base for the western Pacific and south-west Africa, and for Latin and Central America), as well as in tourism and as a consequence of development in the field of tourism infrastructure development. Thank you very much for your attention. (END/2011)



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