Portuguese export agency to open distribution center in China

13 December 2005

Lisbon, Portugal, 13 Dec – The Portuguese agency for export promotion, ICEP Portugal, is going to open a product distribution center in China in 2006, a spokesperson from the agency told Macauhub Monday.

In conjunction with the distribution center, ICEP will set up a center for supporting Portuguese companies that wish to enter the Chinese market, the spokesperson said.

ICEP’s plans are to set up the distribution center in Beijing and the Business Center in Macau, but the decision has not been formally made by ICEP’s directors.

The distribution center, the spokesperson said, would work simultaneously as a showroom for Portuguese products and a warehouse for Portuguese companies that wanted to trade with China.

For the companies using the facility the system would have the advantage of being able to take products to present to the market without having to pay import taxes.

Import taxes, the ICEP spokesperson said, were only payable once the products official enter the market.

ICEP also plans to open distribution centers in the United States and Brazil.

In terms of the Business Center is likely to be set up in Macau and not Beijing as had been initially planned, the spokesperson said. This was due to “greater cultural proximity,” which made entry into China easier, the spokesperson added.

ICEP business centers provide companies with physical infrastructures as well as sales and legal support. Companies that may use the centers are selected via a national tender.

ICEP currently has seven business centers abroad, and expects to open a further five next year.

Of the five new facilities, the locations of Moscow and Maputo have been confirmed, while the remaining three have yet to be decided, although it is almost certain that one will be in Macau.

As part of the plan to increase commercial ties with China, ICEP also plans to open a delegation in Shanghai in 2006.

In 2004, China was Portugal’s 27th largest customer and 16th largest supplier, with Portuguese sales in the Chinese market totaling 101 million euros.

On an official visit to Portugal last week, China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, said he was focused on doubling the value of trade between Portugal and China within the next three years. (macauhub)