China-Portuguese-Language Fund seeks projects in São Tomé and Príncipe

The China-Portuguese Cooperation and Development Fund is looking for projects in São Tomé and Príncipe, a country that reestablished diplomatic relations with China in December 2016, said the secretary general of Forum Macau.

Xu Yingzhen said in an interview with Portuguese news agency Lusa that representatives of the Fund on 8 and 9 July will take part in the 14th China-Portuguese-Language Business Meeting, the first to be held in São Tomé and Príncipe, “to establish more contacts with entrepreneurs and gather more information on the projects, with the aim of accelerating investment.”

“São Tomé and Príncipe is a country that joined Forum Macau at a late stage, so this business meeting is important, and the Permanent Secretariat devotes a lot of attention and importance to it,” said the Secretary-General.

São Tomé and Príncipe was the last country to join the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Forum Macau), months after breaking off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 2016.

Delegations of businesspeople from Portuguese-speaking countries, public institutions for trade and investment promotion, and businesspeople from municipalities and provinces in the interior of China were also taking part, said Xu Yingzhen.

Asked about the projects and the amount already applied by the US$1 billion fund managed by the China Development Bank, Xu said she didn’t have “many details” as the Forum “cannot intervene in its management.”

Xu Yingzhen said, however, that the Fund had so far invested US$120 million in five projects: four in Portuguese-speaking countries, which she did not specify, and one in Macau.

“I know that the management of this investment fund use meetings with businesspeople from Macau and mainland China and travel to Portuguese-speaking countries to publicise the criteria for granting financing,” she said.

The headquarters of the Chinese billion-dollar fund for investments from and to the Portuguese-speaking countries was transferred in 2017 from Beijing to Macau to facilitate contact with potential stakeholders.

Forum Macau has a permanent secretariat, meets at a ministerial level every three years and includes, in addition to Secretary-General Xu Yingzhen, and three deputy secretaries-general, eight delegates from Portuguese-speaking countries (Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and Timor-Leste). (Macauhub)