New initiatives strengthen Macau as ‘bridge’ between China and Portuguese language countries

5 July 2010

Lisbon, Portugal, 5 Jul – The Macau Forum and the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) have positively assessed the region’s ‘mission’ to bring China closer to the Portuguese language countries and are preparing initiatives to boost interchanges.

The magazine of Portugal’s external trade agency (AICEP Portugal Global), recently devoted an issue to Macau as a springboard between China and the Portuguese language countries, in which Macau Forum secretary-general Chang Hexi explains how the relationship works.

“Macau’s companies have given support in various areas to Chinese entrepreneurs interested in developing business and investing in the markets of Portuguese speaking countries and vice versa,” Chang states.

That support is provided in the areas of translation, consulting, agents, supplying project information, studying potential markets and the presentation of partners.

“China’s companies have begun investing in Portuguese language countries, also increasing investment flows in Macau,” he adds.

Parallel to this, “some Portuguese-speaking countries have opened offices or representations in Macau, thus seeking direct access to China’s market and business opportunities, using the advantage of Macau’s bilingualism and knowledge of opportunities.”

In the article, Chang Hexi stresses the role of reciprocal high-level visits in “narrowing friendly relations” between China and the “eight” Portuguese language countries, thus elevating the international influence of Macau.

The joint efforts led to accomplishment in 2008 of the target set for trade exchanges in 2009 (US$45 to 50 billion dollars) at the second Macau Forum ministerial conference, he states.

After falling off last year “due to the international financial crisis”, trade volume was up 91 through April.

Chang notes that Macau will this year host the Macau Forum’s third ministerial conference and that preparations have already begun.

“We are convinced that Macau will provide top services to the chambers of commerce, trade promotion associations and entrepreneurs from China, Macau and the Portuguese language countries in cooperation for mutual investment and business, continuing to positively contribute to economic, commercial, business and investment cooperation,” he adds.

Macauhub learned earlier this year that the Chinese government plans to hold seven colloquiums and training courses for the Portuguese-speaking countries, specifically for authorities from the areas of economic administration, maritime fishing management, renewable energies and biomass, engineering and infrastructures, nursing training, hybrid rice cultivation techniques and technology for olive and cereal cultivation and agricultural irrigation.

The Macau Forum’s secretariat will host in Macau a colloquium on tourism and hotel management.

In an interview in the same publication, IPIM president Jackson Chang explains that the seminar on economic and commercial cooperation and services between Guangdong, Macau and the Portuguese language countries will be held in Porto and Madrid this year, following the “very successful” gathering in Sao Paulo last year.

“We will continue backing development of the convention and fair sectors and other emerging industries. We also provide support to local companies wanting to expand to markets in China, the Portuguese language countries and other traditional ones, as well as new markets, specifically in Taiwan and South East Asia,” he states.

“Given the major influence of the Pearl River Delta market, promotion activities will also be enhanced in Guangdong province, Zhuhai and Macau.”

Lisbon hosted last month the Meeting of Entrepreneurs for Economic Cooperation between China and the Portuguese Language Countries, attended by 500 participants, 250 of them Chinese business representatives.

“There’s no doubt that it marks a new stage in the role Portugal plays in relations between China and the Portuguese language countries, particularly Brazil and Angola,” states AICEP chairman Basilio Horta in an editorial in the publication. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH