Telecommunications the focus as Chinese businesspeople visit Lisbon

9 December 2005

Lisbon, Portugal, 09 Dec – The telecommunications and molding sectors are expected to be the main focus of Chinese businesspeople visiting Lisbon Friday to meet with Portuguese economic partners, officials said.

The group of businesspeople is part of the delegation brought to Lisbon by China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao who is currently on an official visit to Portugal.

During the visit an agreement is due to be signed by Portugal’s Sonaecom, the holding company for the telecommunications businesses of the largest Portuguese private group (Sonae), and China’s Huawei Technologies, telecommunications equipment manufacturer, sources told Macauhub.

The agreement is aimed at deepening relations between the companies following Sonaecom’s mobile phone operator Optimus contracting Huawei to install and manage a UMTS access network in Madeira last June.

Another agreement will be signed between a Portuguese telecom operator, Ar Telecom, and ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer.

Ar Telecom, formerly known as Jazztel, is currently re-launching its services after being bought by the SGC group. The company is expected to invest some 800 million euros over the next few years, particularly on developing its own telecommunications network.

As part of the official visit to Portugal, headed by Wen Jiabao, about ten bilateral agreements are due to be signed. The agreements are aimed at increasing cooperation in the legal arena, health, reciprocal protection of investments and the teaching of Chinese and Portuguese.

Before the visit the Chinese authorities announced that Portugal would be granted the status of “global strategic partner.

Wen Jiabao is the highest level Chinese dignitary to visit Portugal since Macau was handed back to China in December 1999. (macauhub)