Macau could become services hub for Lusophone firms

14 August 2009

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 14 Aug – Macau could turn itself into a services platform for Lusophone businessmen and women, said the head of the Institute for Promotion of Trade and Investments of Macau (IPIM), Lee Peng Hong, at a business encounter in Rio de Janeiro.

“Despite the small scale of Macau I believe we have much to offer. Our aim and strategy is to construct Macau as a hub for services to assist entrepreneurs from China and Portuguese-speaking states to work in and via Macau,” Lee told the Lusa news agency.

The IPIM chairman said Macau already has a strong services sector and it is this that is being offered to executives from Lusophone countries gathered at the 5th Meeting of Entrepreneurs for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Lusophone countries.

Macau, noted Lee, offers “various mechanisms to help” firms from Portuguese-speaking states and is committed to “export know-how on the Chinese market via Macau for Lusophone business chiefs.”

Traditional markets like Europe and the United States, argued Lee, still need some time to recover from the crisis. “On the contrary, there are other counties with great potential on the road to development,” with which there exists great economic balance with the Portuguese language.

Nevertheless, Lee agreed that Portugal, as the only Lusophone state in Europe, could be a “privileged partner” for China and also a bridge for Lusophone states.

The IPIM chief underscored that high demand in China is mainly concentrated in the oil and iron ore sectors produced by Lusophone states, but also in the areas of agriculture, tourism, and professional training.

Thus, as a major market China is also a “major investor and economic partner,” said Lee, adding that besides “excellent bilateral political and economic relations with the majority of Portuguese-speaking states,” China intends to use the multilateral mechanism to work with the forum for economic and trade cooperation in conjunction with promotion agencies and chambers of commerce.

Macau, which celebrates this year the 10th anniversary of its handover from Portugal to China, has had an average annual economic growth of 10%.

IPIM’c chairman said Macau is already an international center for tourism, marketing, conventions and trade fairs so Lusophone countries can take advantage of this to promote their image and products to Chinese companies.