China and Portuguese-speaking nations plan joint investment bank

1 March 2006

Beijing, China, 01 March – The eight member countries of Forum for Economic Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries (Macau) plan to open an investment bank to finance the private projects of common partnerships, a diplomatic source told Macauhub in Beijing Wednesday.

“The long term plan is to have a financing mechanism that can support joint projects for all the countries involved,” the source said, adding that the next conference for Economy Ministers of the forum would approve the carrying out of a viability study to set up the financial body.

“The project will start by identifying and raise capital, which will likely come from the countries with the most developed economies or private sectors in those countries,” the diplomat said.

The Forum ministerial conference, the second, will take place in Macau in September and will also approve the carrying out of a viability study to create a logistical air and sea transport network to link the forum’s eight member countries.

“It will be a network of sea and air transportation linking the eight partners, which are located in all the world’s geographic areas, and which will include warehouse and back-office capacities and tourism infrastructures,” the source from a Portuguese-speaking country said, adding that the idea was for the network to provide, “elements to allow the private sectors of each country to have knowledge of the areas and opportunities available in each of the other members.”

The first step in creating the network is expected to be the launch of a direct air route between Beijing and Luanda, a step which Beijing considers important to strengthen its relationship with Angola, which is China’s second largest trading partner in Africa, and after Saudi Arabia the country’s second largest supplier of oil.

“A direct flight between Beijing and Luanda will promote the bilateral relationship between China and Angola and the relationship with African countries, and may be an issue to be discussed as part of Forum Macau,” China’s deputy Commerce Minister, Wei Jianguo, said Monday in Beijing while presenting the second ministerial meeting of the forum.

This Forum, 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 October 2003. (macauhub)