A Look at the Portuguese World


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Mister lusoglobal

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Salimo Abdula is the current president of the business confederation of countries of the Community of the Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP). It is a Mozambican businessman of repute who has 26 years of experience in numerous areas and sectors and strong supporter of the idea of a global Lusophone community with free movement of people, goods and capitals.

You argues in your speeches a revolutionary idea of creating a sort of Schengen area among the countries of CPLP community. But on what basis?
Salimo Abdula: The economy is going to sustain the available wishes. Having this in mind, we, the entrepreneurs, formalized this gold in the States summit in Dili, at the meeting of Council of Ministers of the CPLP. The business confederation presented a report and we alo made a tour to the various nations, speaking to the Presidents of the Republic and the political leaders of each country to harmonize what is the main gold of the project of the confederation in the economic and business side.

It is an extensible proposal only for entrepreneurs?
SA: No, we advocate the full opening, the free movement of people and goods, did not define whether it is business, or are a simple citizen. We made this proposal because we believe that will create a new dinamic of scale economies. Who indeed will benefit from this are the micro, small and medium enterprises that will emerge from future generations. I defend this idea and I give as an example, the African countries where Portuguese is the official language, or the most emerging nations, as if my country, Mozambique, in which those who make the small informal economy are women, most of them do internally traveling with many difficulties in terms of infra-structures, but also move to other neighboring countries for buy and sell in order to sustain the family economy. They cannot have access to Portugal or other countries, such as Brazil, because it has administrative barriers, you have to request visas that take weeks and sometimes are refused. In the social networks a young man recently said, on one of the speeches of the CPLP, he did not feel part of this community, but felt integrated into the Development Community of Southern Africa, because when he wants to go to Zimbabwe or South Africa he can and to do so just had to take the car. or catch a bus, but if you want to go to Brazil, or Portugal do not know whether they will give the visa or not. This is the feeling of the Portuguese-speaking population and we want to draw the attention of the politions that it is necessary to eliminate such taboos, we are a community that were more than five centuries together and cannot be the bureaucratic and political barriers that tend to divide us.

What has been the receptivity of the politicians about this idea of free movement of people and goods?
SA: The responses of heads of state are that they agreed, but still I do not see action.

You are aware that it will take time?
SA: I have this awareness, but I believe that the pressure is the fuel for things to happen. It's not just my voice, you must also be the conviction of other business leaders, the media that cover these events, because when politicians feel the pressure of the community and the media will do anything to facilitate this idea.

And it has the strength of economic agents?
SA: Yes, totally. The economic and business part of all CPLP countries are in complete agreement, in the report we presented in Dili is already one of the priorities that the confederation places. To go further is not only a free movement of people and goods, but also of capitals. It makes no sense in today emerging economies, Angola, Mozambique, Green Cape and others that are consolidating their economies and certainly by the very insecurity of capital have to look around for markets in London or Hong Kong, outside the Portuguese-speaking world, to keep, or to invest their money.

Now with the crisis that Europe is going through with illegal immigrants and refugees, in a scenario in which some countries want to permanently close its borders, to stop people from coming, you believe that your idea will continue to have consistency?
SA: Well, our view is at the level of the Portuguese-speaking community. Here we are talking about other Anglophone and Francophone communities and in this type of community does not make sense to keep barriers within countries and then integrate them, being a community with barriers, if you have to ask please to circulate inside your home, to move from room to the kitchen, so you better give it up, right?

But the question is the free movement within the European countries.
AS:. We are talking about speaking portuguese community and we are strong only if we do it together. Notice that the economic crisis when it came to Portugal, which is a small territory, suffered heavily and had to make great sacrifices, but has accumulated know-how, the technology that could more easily be leveraged in Lusophone countries that have natural and human resources and that lack technology and knowledge. This marriage of small and medium-sized Portuguese companies to join the other African countries turning their resources added value, not in terms of export of raw materials, but rather to employ these people in that way this young country will avoid this wave abusive of emigration because this whole situation arises thru the despair of people who do not have access to employment and standar average life, people emigrate in search of solutions. Africa has many natural resources and a young population that needs knowledge to transform their raw materials into the final product and create a chain of values. It's a new regard. If we, in the CPLP level do not confront it with this exchange of view we are losing a huge capital which is the language, which is around 17% of costs in companies. Which means today in large companies top managers speak two or three languages, but from the second level down the language is a very important factor and we are throwing away all this capital we have in our hands, for merely taboos. Today we see a great migration of Portuguese companies in these countries, Angola and Mozambique, and we still create a resistance, a struggle, why? By reciprocity. If we open naturally, will naturally filtered all this, who wants to invest in Portugal does it, who wants to do the reverse can do it as well and the aim is to create a strong community, that may lead the global economy. In two decades we represent 25% to 27% of the world's oil and gas, the portion of land and water that we have in our nations and the conditions for tourism, I only speaking of these three factors, we can be strong if we are together, or weak if each act on its own.

Another important factor of your speech was to have focused agriculture ...
SA: And energy.

Addressing agriculture, Brazil and South America in general, control much of the global power market.
SA: Notice that Angola has focused its economy in a precious item that was oil representing 92% of the market share, 6% on diamonds and 2% of the rest. Today with the fall of the crude oil barrel prices they are in trouble. Mozambique has a different scenario, because it was growing at a rate of 7% without oil and without gas, using this capability of land and existing water can generate many jobs which is what PALOPS need and Portugal can contribute much to this, can be a lever to stabilize small and medium sized Portuguese companies and not only can help the social development of these countries, because an Angolan businessman sitting at the table with his Portuguese counterpart and vice versa is easier than with a Chinese businessman. These are factors which must be recovered. Entrepreneurs must have this ambition and vision for the future.

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