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WT/TPR/S/322/Rev.1 • Cabo Verde
- 24 may frequently be in public ownership (State or municipal land). In such cases, the authorities will
normally propose a long-term lease (25 to 50 years) rather than an outright sale of the plot.41
2.36. Having clarified the use of land, the back office proceeds to solicit detailed opinions of public
authorities about the project (e.g. financial, environmental, or legal considerations). CVI (or ADEI)
decides on the basis of the opinions received whether the project should go ahead or be shelved. 42
If the green light is given, the back office agency will collect the necessary registration certificates,
licences or permits issued by public bodies and compile them in a dossier to be handed over to the
investor.43 CVI also provides investment registration certificates to the investors.44
2.37. When Cabo Verde acceded to the WTO in 2008, the principal elements of the legal
framework affecting investment were Law No. 89/IV/93 and Regulatory Decree No. 1/94
(conditions and procedures for foreign investment), Decree-Law No. 108/89 (the "Industrial
Statute"), Law No. 99/IV/93 ("Franc Enterprises"), Law No. 92/IV/93 providing incentives for
exports or re-exports of goods and services, and the Tourism Utility Law (Law No. 55/VI/2005 of
10 January 2005).45 As some WTO Members had found that certain aspects of Cabo Verde's
investment regime could be challenged according to the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and
Countervailing Measures, Cabo Verde had been requested to provide a plan for the elimination of
such WTO-incompatible provisions and programmes.46 It was agreed that Cabo Verde's legislation
should be in full conformity with the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures by
1 January 2010, and that any incentives constituting a prohibited subsidy under the Agreement,
but granted to firms or individuals prior to WTO accession, would be withdrawn no later than
1 January 2015.47
2.38. The "Industrial Statute" (Decree-Law No. 108/89) was revoked in 2010.48 Cabo Verde
introduced a new investment law in 2012, establishing a general framework of rights and
guarantees for investments contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.49
Article 3 provides a positive list of objectives that should guide investments, e.g. job creation,
reduced
socio-economic
disparities,
increased
and
diversified
exports,
improved
balance-of-payments, innovation, and transfer of technology. The law itself does not ban
investment in specific sectors, but acknowledges that the activity must be permitted by law
(Article 11).50 The law applies to domestic and foreign investors alike. Thus, no particular sector or
activity is reserved for domestic investors, and limitations on ownership are not prescribed.
However, the law exempts from its scope "projects which, given their nature or size, may merit
special treatment and support from the State, including through the signing of an Establishment
Agreement" (Article 5.2).
41
The issue of ownership versus leasing could be a negotiating matter. Should the investor prefer
ownership, no general provision in Cabo Verde's legislation would preclude such a transaction.
42
It is only at this stage that the investor would make payments for the registration of a company and
necessary operating permits or licences.
43
A business requires a licence from the municipal authority for its operations. The municipal licence
system was computerized in 2010, and Cabo Verde also eliminated a requirement that the premises be
inspected by the municipal authorities prior to the commencement of operations. The licence as such is issued
free of charge, but investors are charged for the costs of any inspections deemed necessary.
44
CVI will charge investors for its work on investment applications, but the fees do not cover the true
costs. Most of Cabo Verde's financing is covered by the State budget, or by the World Bank for specific
cooperation projects. The fee structure is currently under revision, but the intention is for the fees to remain
nominal and well below cost.
45
Decree-Law No. 66/97, which had outlined incentives for investment in the financial sector, was
repealed by Decree-Law No. 12/2005 of 7 February 2005.
46
Cabo Verde submitted an action plan in 2005 (WTO document WT/ACC/CPV/22, 20 July 2005) and
subsequently a more detailed explanation and revised timetable in 2007 (WTO document WT/ACC/CPV/29,
19 October 2007).
47
WTO document WT/ACC/CPV/30, 6 December 2007, paragraph 163.
48
Legislative Decree No. 13/2010, regulated by Regulatory Decree No. 3/2011 of 24 January 2011.
49
Law No. 13/VIII/2012 of 11 July 2012. The Law entered into force on 1 January 2013. The foreign
investment legislation (Law No. 89/IV/93 and Regulatory decree No. 1/94) was simultaneously repealed. The
investment law was amended in 2013 (Decree-Law No. 34/2013 of 24 September 2013) to expedite the
registration of foreign investment (with BCV). The amendment ensures that the process with the central bank
is undertaken electronically by CVI the day after it has issued the Investment Registration Certificate to the
investor.
50
This principle is also affirmed in Law No. 49/VII/2009 of 30 December 2009, which sets out the
general regime of entry into economic activities. The Law stipulates that no economic activity is closed to
private investment.