Macau seeking to boost economic ties between Lusophone states and the Pan-Pearl River Delta

11 June 2007

Changsha, Hunan, China 11 June – Macau is firmly committed to performing the role of a hub to stimulate economic relations between the 11 members of the Pan-Pearl River Delta and the Portuguese-speaking world, the territory’s leader has said.

Chief Executive Edmund Ho was speaking Sunday in Changsha during the 4th Forum for Cooperation and Development in the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD), bringing together representatives from Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan, plus the two special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong – the so-called “9+2” group.

Ho recalled that the Beijing government created the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese Language Countries in 2003 “as an important strategy of global diplomacy to take advantage of Macau’s historic, cultural and linguistic connections with the Lusophone world.”

“Macau has spared no efforts, responding to the guidelines and wishes of the central government, to fulfil its function as a hub and provide a market with major potential for economic development to the members of the PPRD forum,” added Ho.

“Total trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries has risen from a value of US$ 10 billion in 2003 to US$ 30 billion today.”

“The Macau government has made great efforts to promote quality of local services to members of the PPRD forum to allow easier entry into Lusophone markets and consolidate the territory’s role as an intermediary,” said Ho.

Macau will invite leaders from provinces and regions in the PPRD to take part in an International Forum on Green Industry Development and Cooperation in April 2008 to jointly promote direct contacts and begin cooperation between companies from Europe and the PPRD, Ho said.

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian States (ASEAN), he added, are also “considering a more developed trade partnership with Lusophone states, making use of the special conditions of the PPRD region, where Macau is ready to provide mediation services.”

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Ho also underscored that his government is working to brief media on the territory’s role as a hub between China and the Lusophone world, in addition to raising awareness over the special functions of the Macau forum. (macauhub)