Portugal wants to use Forum Macau to boost relations with China

9 May 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 09 May – Portugal wants to use the next Forum Macau to boost its trade relations with China, which Prime Minister Jose Socrates’ government considers a priority, Portugal’s secretary of State for Trade said.

Speaking to Portuguese financial daily Diário Económico, Fernando Serrasqueiro said that, through a set of measures for improving relations that had been put in place this year, Portugal had “anticipated” the European Union (EU), which at the end of last week defined China as a big priority for trade.

Amongst these measures, he said, was the setting up of a distribution center of Portuguese goods in China, which is still in the design stage, the second of its kind outside Portugal after one opened in Angola and before a third to be opened in Brazil..

As well as this, ICEP, Portugal’s export promotion agency, already has a delegation in Shanghai and, Serrasqueiro added, Portugal was currently one of China’s five strategic partners on a global level.

According to Serrasqueiro, the visit to China by Portugal’s Economy Minister Manuel Pinho, to take part in Forum Macau, is now a way of “intensifying relations between the two countries, via Macau.”

The second Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macau) will take place on September 25 and 26 in Macau.

Diário Económico also reported, without citing sources that Prime Minister Sócrates also this year planned to return the visit made to Portugal by his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, at the end of 2005.

All Portuguese-speaking countries, with the exception of Sao Tome and Principe are founding members of the Forum, which has a permanent office in Macau. (macauhub)