Fund for Cooperation and Belt and Road initiative boost Macau platform

The role played by Macau as a platform in the relationship between China and Portuguese-speaking countries is viewed with renewed interest by economic agents due to the establishment in the Special Administrative Region of the headquarters of the Fund for Cooperation and the “Belt and Road” initiative drawn up by the central government of China.

Present at the Meeting of Entrepreneurs for Economic and Trade Cooperation Between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, held on 16 and 17 June in Praia, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), the director general of the management company of the Fund for Development Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, Jin Guangze, stressed that the financial institution will benefit from its location in the Macau “platform.”

With a number of business people interested in making applications to the Fund for their projects, Guangze pointed out that there are three selection criteria: strategic nature, financial viability – “reasonable” return for shareholders in 4-5 years – and rational investment.

Cabo Verde is a strategically important country because it is part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and enjoys a privileged relationship with the European Union and the United States, which Chinese entrepreneurs “can take advantage of.”

“The Belt and Road initiative is a positive development, and Cabo Verde has a strategic position,” said Guangze, also pointing to the potential of sectors such as the blue economy and renewable energy, in which China has “great skills.”

Opened by the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva, and with a total of nearly 500 participants, the meeting with the support of the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) was attended by the Deputy Director General of China’s Ministry of Commerce and the Vice-President of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

At the closure, 10 agreements were signed, including one that should result in the opening of the first private hospital in Cabo Verde, whose project will soon apply for the Fund for Cooperation.

Signed by the Chinlumac Corporation, owned by Macau businessman Eduardo Ambrósio and healthcare consultancy Figueiredo & Tavares Consultoria em Saúde, the Djéu-Gamboa Private Hospital project foresees an investment of around 27 million euros and is expected to start operating in 2020-2021, according to Cape Verdean partner Emanuel Figueiredo.

IPIM has brought a delegation of over 60 people to Praia, from the sectors of technologies, services, construction, among others, seeking business opportunities.

According to IPIM President Jackson Chang, the tourism sector can be an important area of business collaboration between Cabo Verde and Macau, which has a “very strong advantage” from accumulated experience, and an entrepreneur from the region, David Chow, who is very active on the ground.

Speaking to Macauhub, Chang said the Cape Verdean prime minister told him at a bilateral meeting that the archipelago wishes to make greater use of its potential in maritime technologies and resources, opportunities that IPIM will publicise in Macau and in all over China, “especially among small and medium-sized enterprises.”

“We are looking for companies in the interior of China interested in visiting Cabo Verde and perhaps making investments. Cabo Verde is a small country suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises,” Chang said.

Speaking to the delegation of IPIM, Álvaro dos Santos Rodrigues, a Cape Verdean lawyer based in Macau, said the recent statement by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that on a visit to Cabo Verde in May he promised “unconditional support” from the government of his country for the development of the local maritime economy.

“The interest (from entrepreneurs) has been reinforced with the Belt and Road initiative … and with the matter of the Fund, the headquarters of which are now in Macau, there is now a new impetus for the projects underway,” Santos Rodrigues told Macauhub. (macauhub)