The 5th Ministerial Conference of Forum Macau was one of the most productive ever, with the presentation of 18 measures for Portuguese-speaking countries and 19 others supporting the development of Macau, the Secretary for Economy and Finance said Wednesday.
Secretary Lionel Leong, taking stock of the Ministerial Conference, said that the Conference is not only the recognition and affirmation of Macau’s role as a service platform for trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries but also a new set of opportunities for the development of Macau.
According to the local press, Leong stressed that Macau will become the headquarters of the investment fund announced by China in 2013 for projects in Portuguese-speaking countries saying it is a “gift from Beijing” that will make Macau a true financial centre.
“This change is very advantageous for Macau and can also maximise, or indeed better reflect Macau as (a) financial centre.Not only can maximize the role, but help us to do or to process all transactions between China and Portuguese-speaking countries,” noted Leong.
The secretary also said that the transfer of the headquarters of the fund from Beijingto Macau is very useful for the territory to better play its role as a platform, by providing better service to entrepreneurs from China and the Portuguese-speaking countries.
Activated at the end of June 2013 – three years after the announcement by the then Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, within the framework of the Third Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, to date the fund has approved just two projects, one from Angola and one Chinese project for Mozambique, totalling US$16.5 million.
Leong also referred to new measures to deepen Macau’s role, including its transformation into a financial services platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, the establishment of the Association of Chinese and Portuguese-Speaking Entrepreneurs and a training base for Portuguese-Chinese bilingual professionals.
The measures include the Cultural Exchange Centre and the Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, and the construction of the Complex of Commerce and Trade Cooperation for China and the Portuguese-speaking countries.
On the occasion, the Secretary for Economy and Finance reported that trade between Macau and the Portuguese-speaking countries totalled US$55.9 billion from January to August, a year on year increase of 16% (macauhub)