Foreign trade agencies from China and Portuguese-speaking countries seek to balance trade relations

25 August 2014

Representatives of foreign trade agencies from China and the Portuguese-speaking countries (PLP) are seeking to boost and balance trade relations between their countries, as part of the “10th Meeting of Businesspeople for Commercial and Economic Cooperation between China and the PLP,”  taking place in Maputo until Wednesday.

Coinciding with the opening of the 50th edition of the Maputo International Fair (Facim), which the delegation of around 500 people taking part in the meeting will visit Monday, the high point of the business meeting will be Tuesday when agency representatives and businesspeoplefrom the countries involved are due to meet at the Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre in Maputo.

According to a press release from the Mozambican Institute for Export Promotion (IPEX), which co-organizes the event with its counterpart Macau Institute for the Promotion of Trade and Investment (Ipim) and the China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Mozambican Prime Minister, Alberto Vaquina, will give the opening speech at the event, which Mozambique is hosting for the second time.

The schedule of events also includes speeches by the President of IPIM, Jackson Chang, the secretary-general of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the PLP (Forum Macau), Chang Hexi, Mozambique’s  Minister for Industry and Trade, Armando Inroga and by a CCPITrepresentative.

Based on a cooperation protocol signed in 2003 by the nine foreign trade agencies in ForumMacau, the Maputo meeting is expected to give new impetus to the organization, as well as to commercial and diplomatic relations between the countries involved.

In a recent speech about the future of the Forum, Chinese President, Xi Jinping, said he expected changes “that positively boost cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit in order to contribute to peace, stability and development of related countries and regions. ”

Information recently released by the Chinese customs authorities showed that trade between China and the PLP continued to grow in the first half of the year as it did in 2013 (+2.31​​ percent), when trade between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries totalledUS$131.46 billion, of which US$43.91 billion were Chinese exports and US$87.48 billion were imports from the countries concerned. These figures gave China a trade deficit with the Portuguese-speaking countries of US$43.5 billion.

With an increase of 6.83 percent over the year-ago period, trade between China and the PLP totalled US$64. 6 billion in the first six months of 2014. In the period China exported US$20.4 billion and imported US$44.2 billion with a trade deficit of US$23.7 billion.

However, that the PLP surplus is due exclusively to trade between China and Angola and Brazil. Trade with Brazil alone accounted for 65 percent of total trade  in the first half of the year and the remaining countries, with the exception of Angola, posted trade deficits with China.

As well as Ipex, Ipim and CCPIT, the meeting is attended by representatives of the Brazilian Agency for Promotion of Exports and Investments (Apex), the Cape Verde Investment and Export Promotion Agency (CI), the Angola Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIA), Portugal’s Investment and Foreign Trade Agency (AICEP) and the Guinea-Bissau Directorate for Promotion of Private Investment (DPIP). (macauhub/AO/CV/GW/PT/MZ/CN)