Xi Jinping’s visit to Portugal ends with the signing of 17 agreements

6 December 2018

The official visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Portugal ended on Wednesday with the signing of 17 two-way agreements, most notably a memorandum of understanding on the Chinese ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, the Portuguese press reported.

The agreements, mainly involving the financial and business areas, were signed at the Palace of Queluz in a ceremony headed by Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa and the Chinese head of state.

The memorandum of understanding on cooperation as part of China’s “Belt and Road initiative is part of the economic area of the so-called “Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century” and was signed by Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva and the Director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, He Lifeng.

The memorandum lays down the modes of bilateral cooperation under the Chinese initiative covering a wide range of sectors, including connectivity and electric mobility.

Santos Silva and Chinese Trade Minister Zhong Shan signed a memorandum on cooperation in trade in services, in which the two countries state that “trade in services will be, as part of the Joint Economic Commission, one of the agenda items for bilateral dialogue, covering areas such as transport, tourism, finance, intellectual property, technology and culture.”

Seven agreements were signed for the business sector, the first of which was a memorandum of understanding to set up in Portugal StarLab – a research laboratory of advanced technology in the areas of sea and space.

This project involves Portuguese company Tekever and the Chinese Academy of Sciences and aims to “extend cooperation with other international entities in areas such as 4D vision, deep space exploration, development of satellite platforms and technologies for monitoring and protection of the oceans.”

Also in the business area, agreements were signed between Portuguese bank Banco Comercial Português (BCP) and China’s UnionPay and between Portuguese telecoms operator MEO and China’s Huawei on the development of 5G technology, focused on a qualitative increase in access to the mobile broadband network and communications with greater reliability. (macauhub)