Second ministerial meeting of Forum Macau in September

28 February 2006

Beijing, China, 28 Feb – China said Monday in Beijing that the second ministerial meeting of Forum Macau would take place in Macau in September. The meeting is intended to strengthen economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking nations, officials said.

Forum Macau, which was set up in 2003, is the brainchild of the central government of the People’s Republic of China, the organization of which is at the charge of the government of the Special Administrative region of Macau.

The first ministerial meeting of the Forum that includes China and all the countries with Portuguese as an official language with the exception of Sao Tome and Principe, which has no diplomatic relations with Beijing, took place in Oct. 2003.

The Chinese deputy minister of trade, Wei Jianguo, on announcing the meeting, said that China would strengthen trade and economic cooperation with the Portuguese-speaking countries, through social projects, construction of infrastructures and training human resources.

Wei also said that China would focus its attention, “above all, on projects that are most important to the local populations, such as building hospitals, economical rental property, wells and dams. Then, projects for building infrastructures for industry, the mining industry and the fisheries sector. Thirdly, we will focus on training of human resources.”

Official figures show that bilateral trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries in 2005 totaled over 19.53 billion euros, a 26.9 percent increase on 2004.

At the end of 2005, direct investment from China in Portuguese-speaking countries was US$100 million, with investment in Portugal and Brazil in China totaling US$229 million, according to Chinese Trade Ministry figures.

Francis Tam Pak Yuen, Secretary for the Economy and Finance of the Special Administrative Region of Macau (SARM), who attended the announcement about the second ministerial Forum Macau meeting, said that the choice of location for carrying out the forum’s ministerial meeting, “is proof of how much the Chinese central government appreciates the SARM government, as well as recognition from Portuguese-speaking countries for our efforts in this area.”

“The SARM government has made an effort to boost the exchange and cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries in terms of trade and the economy as well as culturally and wants to improve its role in promoting cooperation and cultural and economic interchange between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries,” said Yuen. (macauhub)