Beijing optimistic about economic cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries

27 September 2006

Beijing, China, 27 Sept – China sees economic cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries as important, the spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Qin Gang said a day after the closure of another Macau Forum meeting.

“We are very optimistic and see cooperation between the two sides as positive ad hope that the Portuguese-speaking countries continue to make efforts to that end,” Qin said, commenting on the results of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between Chin and the Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macau), whose ministerial meeting was held on September 24 and 25.

Qin also said that since Macau’s sovereignty had been transferred to the People’s Republic of China in 1999, the cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries had been developing well.

“Macau has become an important and efficient platform for cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries,” he said.

Qin reiterated China’s commitment to opening up a credit line of some 800 million yuan to develop infrastructures in Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa and Asia, as well as the aim of doubling trade between the two sides by 2009 and reach total trade of between US$40 and US$50 million.

Official figures published in Macau showed that in the first six months the year trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries totaled US$11.067 billion, or 68 percent more than in the same period of 2005.

In 2005 trade increased by 27 percent against 2004 to US$23.19 billion.

Created in 2003, Forum Macau is organized by the government of Special Administrative Region of Macau and includes all countries with Portuguese as an official language except for Sao Tome and Principe, which does not have diplomatic relations with Beijing. (macauhub)