China: China’s increasing presence in Portuguese-speaking Africa to bring indirect benefit to Portugal, researcher says

12 June 2008

Cape Town, South Africa, 12 June – China’s growing presence in Portuguese-speaking Africa will bring indirect benefits to Portugal, due to the increased capacity of those countries to consume and invest, a Portuguese researcher said in Cape Town Wednesday.

Luís Brites Pereira, economist and director of the Centre for Globalisation and Governance of Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and the main speaker in the debate on, “The role of China in funding development in Africa,” held as part of the World Bank conference on development in Cape Town, South Africa, the Chinese “the Chinese act for bilateral interests, country by country.”

“The benefit (to Portugal) is more indirect than direct. When Portuguese-speaking countries are fine they are going to want to buy things, invest, and that is also good for Portugal (…) I don’t think the Chinese need facilitators. They have the Money, they have the needs and the capacity to look for and set up businesses. In that respect they have not needed Portugal and can directly deal with the countries they are interested in,” he said.

The researcher, who is coordinating the first study on the practical results of using Macau as a platform for Chinese investment in Portuguese-speaking Africa, noted: “It would not surprise me if this study ended up showing that (the Chinese) have surpassed or do not give the Macau Forum its due importance.”

The Portuguese researcher, who is the author of a study on the motivations behind Chinese investment in Africa, which is due to be presented Thursday in Cape Town, has, however, identified the “pattern” of Beijing’s strategy on the African continent. (macauhub)