The US Ambassador to Lisbon, Gerald McGowan, is a personal friend of Mr. William Clinton, who placed him as US Ambassador to Lisbon at the beginning of 1998. He is to be replaced by the new White House Administration. Before he leaves in June, he plans to ease the transition of the new ambassador. Asked about how much US foreign policy will change under George Bush, he stated : “ I do not believe that there will be a great change. President Bush is not going to do any 180є turns. There is a tradition in the USA that clearly limits party political orientation on external policy”. He said that like President Clinton, Bush will probably spend his first mandate concentrating on home issues. (It remains to be seen whether he will be re-elected to a second). Gerald McGowan said that America would do well to use Portugal to enter African markets, because of Portugal’s historic links with its ex-colonies (Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Guinea-Bissau) and its experience of trade with many other African countries, some of which continue to have important Portuguese communities. He said that the American businessmen have the capital resources and the Portuguese have the contacts. “Coca Cola, for example, does not need Portugal to enter Africa. However, co-operation with Portugal may be a way to take to Africa capital which otherwise not have arrived there”. “Africa is an enormous market of more than 700 million people. Risks exist because of instability. Portugal could diminish these risks due to its experience. One day the African markets could be as important as the South-East Asian markets are today”.


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