Macau should take advantage of the “One Belt, One Road” strategy, academics say

23 May 2016

Macau and the Portuguese-speaking countries can benefit from the Chinese “One Belt, ONe Road” (OBOR) initiative, according to specialists and academics who met Friday at a conference held in Macau.

Organised by the City University of Macau, the Institute of European Studies of Macao (IEEM) and the Macao Association of the Maritime Silk Road, the conference was intended to discuss the implications of OBOR, particularly in terms of investment opportunities in Portuguese-speaking countries and the role of Macau in the initiative.

The Director General of the International Cooperation Centre of the National Development and Reform Commission, Cao Wenlian said Macau should train translators to help Chinese companies in their relations with Portuguese-speaking countries.

Thomas Chan, president of the Maritime Silk Road Association (Macau) and responsible for the “China Business Center” of the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, said OBOR is open to all countries and Macau may have a role not only in the maritime route but also as a business facilitator for Portuguese-speaking countries within their regions.

José Luís Sales Marques, president of IEEM recalled that Chinese diplomats themselves have argued that Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking countries should take part in OBOR.

At the meeting, which brought together fifty senior executives of the governments of China and Macau, diplomats and academics, journalist José Carlos Matias argued that Macau’s “soft power” can have a role to play in OBOR and the University of San Jose professor, Francisco Leandro said a broader view was needed, as the OBOR initiative is a major project for China in the medium or long term, to transfer the centre of global economic power from the Atlantic to the Indian and Pacific ocean region.

Tong Hei, a researcher at the University of Foreign Affairs in Beijing said that Macau has to be faster in implementing the economic policies of the central and regional governments and said he was sure that the territory could be a think-tank for regional economic and political reflection. (macauhub/CN/MO)