Macau can be Portugal’s business hub for China and rest of Asia, says Lisbon’s foreign minister

26 June 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 26 June – Macau could be a platform for Portugal and other European countries to enter China and the rest of Asia, Portuguese Foreign Minister Diogo Freitas do Amaral has said.

Speaking Friday after a meeting with Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho, the Portuguese diplomat said service and technology sectors are areas being developed in Sino-Portuguese relations.

In turn, Ho said he was “very impressed with the commitment” of the Portuguese government to strengthen the role of Macau as a platform for the interests of Portugal and other European states in gaining access to China.

Macau’s chief executive said he was “satisfied” with Portugal’s support for the Forum for Economic and Commercial Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-language Countries and “very optimistic” in relation to future ties between Lisbon and Macau.

At the level of bilateral relations, Ho and Freitas do Amaral signed a three-way accord between Macau, Portugal and China on tax concessions for diplomatic missions and official trade bodies and their staff.

The accord covers the Macau-China Economic and Commercial Delegation, in Portugal, and the Consulate General of Portugal, ICEP Delegation and Instituto Português do Oriente in Macau.

Ho was in Lisbon for four days and on his second official visit to Portugal since December, 1999, when Macau was handed over to Chinese rule by Portugal with the creation of the Macau Special Administrative Region. (macauhub)