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A single closing ceremony and certificate presentation for two event series: the “Seminar on Infrastructure Construction in Portuguese-speaking Countries”; and the “Seminar on Trade in Services in Portuguese-speaking Countries” took place at the ballroom of Hotel Grand Lisboa on June 9. These training sessions were organised by the Training Centre of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, also known as Forum Macao, in partnership with the City University of Macau.

The twin series of seminars were hosted with the aim of helping those Forum Macao members from Portuguese-speaking Countries better to understand the development trends of infrastructure construction; trade in services in mainland China and Macao; and Macao’s platform role for trade and commerce between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. It is hoped that the seminars will help spur further cooperation between entities in mainland China, Macao and Portuguese-speaking Countries, in the fields of infrastructure development and trade in services.

Fifty officials and technicians from those related fields – hailing respectively from Brazil, Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and São Tomé and Principe – participated in the series of two seminars, which were held concurrently in the period of May 28 to June 9 across three cities – Beijing, Zhuhai and Macao. In Beijing, participants made a series of visits and held exchange events with local companies. Arrangements were also made for them to take part in the 5th China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services; the China International Electronic Commerce Expo 2018;  and the Day of Brazil.

Participants in the Macao seminars made a visit to the Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park of Co-operation between Guangdong and Macau, in Zhuhai, followed by several visits to places in Macao and attendance at talks themed on: the “Belt and Road” initiative; infrastructure development; trade in services; investments involving small- and medium-sized enterprises; and Macao’s platform role. The participants also took part in the 9thInternational Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum in Macao.

The attendees of the closing ceremony for both seminar series included the Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao, Ms Xu Yingzhen; Deputy Director-General of the Economic Affairs Department and Head of the Commercial Office of the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Ms Chen Xing; Consul-General of Angola in the Macao SAR, Ms Sofia Pegado da Silva; Consul-General of Mozambique in the Macao SAR, Mr Rafael Custódio Marques; Rector of the City University of Macau, Professor Zhang Shuguang; and delegates from each Portuguese-speaking Country that holds membership of Forum Macao.

Ms Xu Yingzhen– as well as, respectively, the head of the Seminar on Infrastructure Construction Dr Irina Ribeiro, and head of the Seminar on Trade in Services Dr Vasco de Melo – delivered a speech at the closing ceremony.

At the ceremony, Ms Xu said that this, the inaugural series for the Seminar on Trade in Services, presented a new focal point for future cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. She noted that, the common theme of infrastructure construction found in the seminar series – based on the international cooperation framework envisaged under the “Belt, and Road’ initiative –  was aimed at fostering the links between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries with regard to infrastructure development.

Participants in the seminar series agreed that they had gained a deeper knowledge of trade in services and infrastructure development in mainland China and Macao; experience that would be useful for their work in future. The learning experience is also beneficial for the co-development of both China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.