Portugal opens Consulate-General in Shanghai focused on economic diplomacy

7 September 2006

Shanghai, China, 07 Sept – Portugal opened Wednesday a Consulate-General in Shanghai, which is the first Portuguese diplomatic office created with economic diplomacy in mind, according to the presentation given by the secretary of state for the Portuguese Communities, António Braga.

“The Portuguese Consulate-General in Shanghai is the first Portuguese diplomatic facility created within the framework of economic diplomacy. It is a gateway and an opportunity for the Portuguese and Chinese business world to develop partnerships and deals,” Braga said.

Braga was speaking to Portuguese news agency Lusa on the sidelines of the inaugural ceremony for the consulate, which was attended by the deputy mayor of Shanghai and diplomatic representatives.

Braga also said that the Portuguese Consulate-General in Shanghai would have the responsibility of identifying opportunities for cooperation between Chinese and Portuguese companies in the African and Latin American markets.

The Shanghai deputy mayor, Zhou Taitong, making a speech during the inauguration ceremony, said that the official opening of the consulate, which ahs been working since March, reflected the “lack of incidents” that distinguished the relations between Portugal and China since the two countries began bilateral diplomatic relations in 1979.

“The Portuguese Consulate-General in Shanghai is opening at a time when relations between Portugal and China are at their best stage and marks a new stage in that relationship,” Zhou said.

With the Shanghai consulate Portugal now has 123 consulates-general all over the world. The new Portuguese diplomatic office in China has within its jurisdiction the autonomous municipality of Shanghai and the Eatsern Cchinese provinces of Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangsu and Jiangxi.

Shanghai has a middle class of between 3.5 and 4.5 million people that can consume imported goods, according to Wu Bin, director for China of Market Access, a consultancy specialized in the internationalization of Portuguese companies.

Shanghai had one of the largest gross domestic products (GDP) in China, of 8.8 trillion yuan in 2005, a year in which the city’s economy grew by 11.1 percent.

According to Portugal’s National Statistics Institute, in the first ten months of 2005 Portuguese companies sold products totaling 150 million euros to China and imported products from China worth 525 million euros. (macauhub)