China and Portuguese language countries to hold ministerial conference in second half of year in Macau

3 February 2010

Macau, China, 3 Feb – The third ministerial conference of the Forum for Economic and Commercial Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries will be held in Macau in the second half of this year, the Portuguese news agency Lusa reported, citing a diplomatic source.

At the fifth ordinary meeting of the permanent secretariat of the Macau Forum, which ended on Tuesday in Macau, “it was not possible to set a specific date for the ministerial meeting, which was postponed until the next negotiating round to take place in the next two months in Beijing,” the source said.

“In any case, the ministerial meeting should only be held in the second half of the year, because many details must still be worked out, such as completion of the action plan, and the agendas of each country will have to be aligned,” the source added.

China is hosting from May to October the Shanghai World Expo, its first major international event since the 2008 Olympic Games, and Brazil will be focused on its elections scheduled for October.

Work on the document with more than ten pages setting out cooperation strategies between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries for the next three years, which will be submitted to the ministerial conference for approval, has been under way for nearly a year but should only be completed at the next meeting.

“We are very close to having a consensus action plan, since we have two very similar proposals on the table. In Beijing we can finish the plan and should have a proposal from China regarding a date for the ministerial conference,” said Brazil’s ambassador in Beijing, Clodoaldo Hugueney, at the end of the Macau Forum meeting.

The Macau meeting was attended by the Beijing-accredited ambassadors from Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and East Timor, and a 13-member Chinese delegation headed by the director-general of the Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau Affairs of China’s Commerce Ministry, Tang Wei. (macauhub)