Foreign relations of São Tomé and Príncipe

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politics and government of
São Tomé and Príncipe

Until independence in 1975, São Tomé and Príncipe had few ties abroad except those that passed through Portugal. Following independence, the new government sought to expand its diplomatic relationships. A common language, tradition, and colonial experience have led to close collaboration between São Tomé and other ex-Portuguese colonies in Africa, particularly Angola. São Toméan relations with other African countries in the region, such as Gabon and the Republic of the Congo, are also good. In December 2000, São Tomé signed the African Union treaty; it was later ratified by the National Assembly.

The São Toméan government has generally maintained a foreign policy based on nonalignment and cooperation with any country willing to assist in its economic development. In recent years, it has also increasingly emphasized ties to the United States and western Europe.


Prior to independence, the People's Republic of China (PRC) supported the country's indigenous movement for independence against the Portuguese Empire and the relationship continued after independence. Official diplomatic relation was established with the PRC upon independence on 12 July 1975. In 1975 and 1983, the country's first president, Manuel Pinto da Costa, visited the PRC. On 6 May 1997, São Tomé and Príncipe switched diplomatic relation from PRC to Republic of China (ROC).[1] On 15 November 2013, an unofficial PRC trade mission office was established in São Tomé and Príncipe to facilitate the non-political commercial ties with the PRC.[2] However, in June 2014, President Manuel Pinto da Costa made a private visit to Shanghai in Mainland China for a non-political mission.[3]

São Tomé and Príncipe had been speaking at the United Nations General Assembly for ROC meaningful participation in international organizations. While on the other side, ROC has provided various aids to the country for the development in their infrastructure and social system.[4]

São Tomé and Príncipe severed relations with ROC on 20 December 2016, leaving Burkina Faso and Swaziland as the only two remaining African nations retaining formal relations with the ROC,[5] when the ROC government reportedly turned down a São Toméan request for $210 million in financial assistance.[6] Diplomatic relations between PRC and São Tomé and Príncipe resumed on 26 December 2016.[7]


The Republic of India has enjoyed warm and friendly relations since its (São Tomé's) independence in 1975. Dr. Carlos Alberto Pires Tiny, then the São Tomé Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation & Communities visited India from 29 November to 2 December 2009. This visit was the first of its kind and the only high level visit to or from India since São Tomé became independent in 1975. As stated by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India,India assured Sao Tome and Principe of its support in the form of official developmental assistance, technical cooperation and capacity building to facilitate the rapid economic & social development of its people. In this context, the Government of India announced a grant of US$1 million for setting up a Technology Incubation-cum-Production Centre for development of SME sector and another grant of Rs.10 million for meeting immediate requirements in education and health sectors. It was also agreed to favourably consider a Line of Credit for US$5 million for priority projects to be identified by the STP side in the fields of agriculture, capacity building and infrastructure. Both these are being implemented. In October 2010 Computer hardware were gifted to the Government of ST&P. During the same time, 173 packets of essential medicine was delivered to the Health Ministry of ST&P as a goodwill gesture In turn, the Republic of São Tomé and Principe has announced its support for India to be awarded a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and is the 47th country of Africa to join the Government of India's Pan-African e-Network Project.[8]


São Tomé's relationship with Portugal was described as "remarkable" in January 2011 during a Portuguese visit to the country.[9] In 2009, the former colonizer was by far the largest importer to the country, with nearly 59% of all imports tracing there.[citation needed]

South Korea[edit]

Establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and São Tomé and Príncipe was August 20, 1988 and In 2001 Bilateral Trade were Exports $ 74,479 Imports $ 40,381.[10]

United States[edit]

With the development of São Tomé's oil reserves, American diplomatic and military relations are becoming closer. In February 2005, the US Navy's USS Emory S. Land (AS-39) entered West African waters near São Tomé to provide security assistance and training to the local security services.

See also[edit]