Trade between Portugal and China must be more balanced – Icep

7 June 2007

Lisbon, Portugal, 7 June – The Portugal-China balance of trade, which is expected to be worth a total 1 billion euros in 2007, must be more balanced on the Portuguese side, the president of Portuguese export promotion agency, ICEP said in Lisbon Wednesday.

Speaking at the conference entitled, “Portugal-China: For a Strategic Partnership,” organized by the Lisbon Geographical Society and by the Portuguese Center for Business in Asia, Basílio Horta noted growth in trade over the last few years, although “figures had to be corrected.”

In the last six years Portuguese exports to China rose four-fold, from a very low base value, while imports from China rose two-fold, with last year’s balance of trade favorable for the Asian powerhouse by some 500 million euros.

In order to “correct” this situation, exports must increase the export of services associated to information and communication technologies, industrial machinery and equipment and fast-moving consumer goods, including construction and decoration materials, fashion and high quality food products, such as olive oil and wine.

Horta also highlighted the need to attract more direct investment from China, saying that Portugal ‘could be an important base for Chinese industry.”

An example of this, he said, were the logistics projects being developed in Poceirão, Sines and Beja, in which Portugal wants to involve Chinese companies interested in the European market. (macauhub)