Portugal: Fórum Macau will become true CPLP according to researcher Moisés Silva Fernandes

6 June 2008

Lisbon, Portugal, 6 June – Portuguese researcher Moisés Fernandes said Wednesday in Lisbon that Forum Macau, a Chinese government initiative, would become the true Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), ensuring an “effective link between all Lusophone areas.”

“I am increasingly convinced that this will become the true CPLP,” said Fernandes at a conference given Wednesday at teh Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The conference on the theme “Macau as China’s Platform to Lusophony” was the result of a partnership of the Friends of the Historical-Diplomatic Archive of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and the Confucius Institute of Lisbon University.

Fernandes, who is the director of the Confucius Institute, noted that whilst the CPLP was “very political, diplomatic and protocol-focused,” Forum Macau “goes beyond that and deals with economic and trade relations.”

Created in 2003, Forum Macau is organized by the government of Special Administrative Region of Macau.

“The force of Forum Macau and its success have been demonstrated by the over 700 percent growth in trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries between 2002 and 2007, and which rose from US$6.52 billion to US$46.35 billion,” said Fernandes.

However, he recognised that looking solely at 2007, that 99 percent of trade was focused on just three countries: Brazil (64 percent), Angola (30 percent) and Portugal (5 percent). (macauhub)