Macau, China, 19 Sept – Trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries totaled US$11.067 billion in the first six months of 2006, or 68 percent more than in the same period of 2005, according to official figures.
Official figures obtained by Portuguese news agency Lusa showed that the total value of trade in the first half would make it possible to reach the target of tripling trade between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries within three years by the end of 2006.
In 2004, which was the first complete year after the creation in October 2003 of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, trade between them totaled US$18.77 billion, or 66 percent more than in 2003.
In 2005 trade increased by 27 percent against 2004 to US$23.19 billion.
In October 2003 China designated the Special Administrative Region of Macau as the bridge to develop and strengthen relations with Portuguese-speaking countries and set up the Forum for that purpose. The first meeting of the Forum was held in October 2003 in Macau.
On September 24 and 25 Macau is due to host the second ministerial meeting of the forum with the presence of government representatives from China, Macau, Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, East Timor and Cape Verde. (macauhub)