China’s deputy trade minister makes official visit to Portugal

3 September 2007

Beijing, China, 3 Sept – China’s deputy trade minister, Liao Xiaoqi, will be in Portugal between Monday and Friday where, according to the Chinese Trade Ministry he is scheduled to meet with Fernando Serrasqueiro, Portuguese secretary of state for Trade and Consumer Defense.

“This is one of the most important years in terms of economic relations between the two countries, as Portugal, in this second half of the year, takes on the rotational presidency of the European Union (EU),” a staff member of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry told Portuguese new agency Lusa.

According to the same source, Liao and Serrasqueiro are expected to discuss the issues brought up at the last Luso-Chinese Mixed Commission, which took place in Beijing in January, and which set up a working group on bilateral investment which Lisbon hopes will identify opportunities for Chinese investment in Portugal.

Other issues to be discussed by Liao and Serrasqueiro are expected to be cooperation between small and medium-sized companies from both countries and the creation of a specific credit line for consumer goods and short term operations in order to encourage Portuguese exports to China.

Liao’s visit to Portugal is taking place at a time when Portuguese companies almost doubled their exports to China in the first half of the year, from US$187.54 million in the first half of 2006 to US$352.49 million in 2007, or a rise of around 88 percent.

In the first half of 2007 Portugal imported goods from China totaling US$940 million, with bilateral trade totaling US$1.292 billion, or 39 percent more year on year. (macauhub)