Macau, China, 30 Aug – Bilateral trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries rose by around 60 percent in the first half of 2007 to a total of US$18.8 billion, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported from Macau Wednesday.
Citing a non-identified official source, the agency said that “bilateral trade between Chin and the Portuguese-speaking nations continues to develop at a peak and should quickly reach the targets set last September in Macau to reach US$50 billion by 2009.”
Trade between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries saw strong growth from October 2003 when the Chinese government decided to give Macau the responsibility for promoting the development of economic relations with Lusophone countries by hosting the Economic and Commercial Forum and carrying out cooperation activities in several areas.
Between 2003 and 2006, trade more than tripled to a total of US$34 billion in 2006.
At the last ministerial meeting of the Forum, held in September 2006 in Macau, China, Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and East Timor – Sao Tome and Principe was not present as it has diplomatic ties with Taiwan – decided to boost ties in the areas of government, trade, investment, corporate, agriculture and fisheries, infrastructure construction, natural resources, human resources and development.
The ministers from each country reiterated that “Macau should continue to actively carry out the role of platform in boosting economic and commercial cooperation between Chin and the Portuguese-speaking countries.”
At the Macau Forum, China also committed to open up a credit line worth some US$100 million for development of infrastructures in African countries with Portuguese as an official language. (macauhub)