Lisbon, Portugal, 23 Jan – China has already overtaken Japan in the list of Portugal’s largest suppliers of goods and within five years, if current growth rates are maintained, will become one of the ten biggest, ahead of the United States, Portuguese weekend newspaper, Expresso reported in it latest edition.
In 2005, trade between Portugal and China had reached record levels for the yaer by the end of November, with Portuguese imports standing at 525 million euros and exports at 150 million euros.
According to calculations made by Expresso, the value of imports from China has increased by around a third since 2000, and exports tripled in the last year, against the previous year.
Figures from the Portuguese statistics institute show that Portugal mainly exports raw materials or low-tech products to China (pulp and paper, cork, minerals and ore, common metals) as well as electrical material and machines and appliances.
Portugal mainly imports technology such as household appliances, computers and related products, chemical products, metals and textiles from China.
The paper said that imports of Chinese cars into Portugal, which is expected to start in mid-2006, should contribute to a worsening of the trade imbalance between the countries, which currently stands at a 400 million-euro annual surplus in China’s favor.
In December 2005, at the time of an official visit to Portugal, China said it had increased the relationship between the two countries to “strategic partnership” level, ensuring preferential treatment for trade between Portugal and China, such as already occurs between China and Great Britain, France, Germany and Spain. (macauhub)