Macau: Bank of China supports creation of economic and commercial platform with Portuguese-speaking countries

18 May 2009

Macau, China, 18 May – The Bank of China is promoting the advantage of Macau as a Chinese platform to countries with Portuguese as the official language via agreements with banks in countries such as Angola or Mozambique, according to Forum Macau.

“As further economic and commercial cooperation is developed between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, the Bank of China is highlighting the role of Macau in a positive way as a platform for economic and commercial cooperation” between the two blocks, said the Forum for Economic Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries in a document published this month.

The bank’s work, it said, had “strengthened cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries, doing its best to consolidate and promote economic and commercial ties between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.”

Set up 58 years ago, the Macau branch of the Bank of China holds the presidency of the Macau Association of Banks and is also responsible for issuing patacas and for the government public treasury coffers.

With a leading position in the market, it is also the bank which offsets the renminbi and bonds issued in Hong Kong dollars, as well as other currencies.

According to the document “Cooperation Relations between the Bank of China and Banks from Portuguese-speaking Countries,” a first step for the association of banks from Portuguese-speaking countries was taken in September 2006, with the signing of an agreement with the Banco de Fomento de Angola (BFA) to offer fund transfer services to Chinese nationals residing in Angola and to companies with Chinese capital in that country.

“The BFA, using Bank of China’s global networks and in particular, its numerous branches throughout China, carries out transfers from its clients to China and other countries. Thanks to efforts on both sides, current business operations have developed in a better way,” said the Forum Macau document.

Already in March this year, the bank signed a Letter of Cooperation Intentions, witnessed by Chinese and Mozambican authorities, by Remittance Services, respectively, by Millennium BIM, of the Portuguese group Millennium Bcp, and Stanley Ho and Ferro Ribeiro’s Moza Banco.

The agreement was drawn up in the context of a visit by the Chinese deputy trade minister, Jiang Zhengwei, to Mozambique, accompanied by a business delegation from Macau, organized by the Support Office of the Forum’s Permanent Secretariat

“The Bank of China has thus become a partner for development of financial cooperation with its Mozambican counterparts, aiming to support the economic and commercial development between China and Mozambique, as well as other Portuguese-speaking countries,” said the Forum.

“Macau has always maintained close relations with Portuguese-speaking countries. In recent years the Macau government has made every effort to promote Macau as the platform between China and these countries, and on its part, the Bank of China in Macau has played a positive role in turning this platform into a reality,” it added.

The Bank of China is also preparing to begin activity in Brazil, which should happen in July according to statements made to macauhub by the president of the Bank of China in Brazil, Zhang Jianhua this month.

During the initial phase, activity in Brazil, currently one of China’s biggest international partners, will be aimed at business and trade sectors, though it is looking into the possibility of entering the retail sector via Brazilian banks.

Focusing on the Chinese community resident in Brazil, the Bank of China intends to introduce transfer services between the two countries.

A branch of the bank on Avenida Paulista, in the financial heart of Sao Paulo, will mainly provide credit lines for companies interested in bilateral trade.

Macau hosted the conference for the governors of central banks of Portuguese-speaking countries, with the aim of working towards the creation of a “platform for financial cooperation and the promotion of economic and trade development” and also for the Monetary Authority of Macau’s cooperation and technical assistance for countries such as Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe. (macauhub)