China’s trade with Portuguese-speaking countries rises 11-fold since the creation of Forum Macau

Trade between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries has increased 11-fold since Forum Macau was set up in 2003, and the Forum has played a “very important role” in Chinese globalisation, said China’s Deputy Minister of Commerce.

In an interview with the media in Lisbon, including Macauhub, on the sidelines of the Meeting of Entrepreneurs for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, Deputy Minister Gao Yan also highlighted the growth of the areas of cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries, which increased from seven when the Forum was created to 20 currently.

“China and the Portuguese-speaking countries have always maintained a good economic and commercial relationship and we are well on the way to continuing this cooperation path,” she said.

Forum Macau is celebrating its 15th anniversary in October this year, and a study is underway to assess its performance and future outlook, involving the Chinese government and the Portuguese-speaking countries, which have been consulted by a team of experts.

A ceremony was held recently in Beijing to mark the launch of the report, which will be presented by the end of the year, including the “role of Macau as a point of contact” between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, as well as “plans for the future,” Gao Yan said in the interview.

Macau, he said, has “a singular and irreplaceable position” and its role in liaising with Portuguese-speaking countries is also, “a better way of achieving the concept of one country, two systems.”

The Chinese official also stressed that, at the suggestion of President Xi Jinping, China intends to boost imports, so the country is “open to receiving quality products and services from Portuguese-speaking countries.” He called on business people from those countries to take part in the first Chinese international import exhibition due to be held in November in Shanghai.

Organised by the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) and the Macao Forum, the Lisbon Business Meeting was held on 21 and 22 June, with about 400 participants, 80 contact meetings and the signing of 24 protocols and memoranda.

The opening ceremony of the meeting was attended by the Vice-President of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Edmund Ho Hau Wah, Portuguese Secretary of State for Internationalisation Eurico Brilhante Dias, and Deputy Minister of Commerce Gao Yan, in addition to the Secretary for Economy and Finance of Macau, Leong Vai Tac, and the Vice-President of the Council for the Promotion of International Trade of China, Chen Zhou.

Leong Vai Tac stressed that efficient dovetailing of the “Belt and Road” initiative with Sino-Lusophone economic and trade cooperation will bring with it important development opportunities, such as the opening of the “Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge” and planning construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Great Bay Metropolitan Region.

He added that Macau intends to boost the development of the financial sector with its own characteristics, particularly financial leasing, wealth management and settlement services in yuan, among others, and alongside the construction of the financial services platform, provide financial support to companies from China and the Portuguese-speaking countries.

In addition to attending the meeting in Portugal, the delegation of about 60 business people from Macau, led by Leong Vai Tac and organised by IPIM, also visited industrial and logistics parks and infrastructure construction companies during their stay.

After the trip to Portugal, the delegation headed for Brazil, where it will visit local industrial and commercial companies.

The next Meeting of Entrepreneurs for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries will be held in Sao Tome and Principe in 2019. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH