The Assistant Secretary General of the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, Echo Chan Keng Hong, announced Wednesday she will leave the post she has held since March this year.
Cristina Morais, currently head of the Department of External Economic Relations of the Macau Economic Service, will replace Echo Chan as Assistant Secretary-General Forum Macau and coordinator of the Support Office to the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum.
Echo Chan told Macau’s official television station TDM the decision was for “personal and family” reasons and she is expected to be away from Macau for some time.
In 2003 China created Forum Macau with the aim of boosting Macau’s role as an economic and commercial platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
The Forum, based in Macau, every three years brings together ministers from China and the Portuguese-speaking countries in a meeting to study the mechanisms of action and evaluate the results of the work carried out within the jurisdiction of the Forum.
The permanent secretariat of the Forum includes a secretary general (Chang Hexi, appointed by Beijing) and two assistant general secretaries (Vicente Manuel, appointed by the Portuguese-speaking countries and Echo Chan, appointed by the Macau government, who will now be replaced by Cristina Morais).
The secretariat also includes delegates from seven Portuguese-speaking countries with which China has diplomatic relations – Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Timor-Leste (East Timor).
São Tomé and Príncipe is not represented in the Forum as the African country has diplomatic relations with Taiwan rather than with China.
However, at the ministerial meetings of the Forum held since 2003 representatives of São Tomé and Principe have taken part as observers. (macauhub/AO/BR/CN/CV/GW/MO/MZ/PT/ST/TL)