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A delegation from the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao, led by Secretary-General Xu Yingzhen, visited Timor-Leste from November 30 to December 6. The group met with government representatives overseeing affairs related with the work of Forum Macao, and also paid visits to bodies related to trade investment promotion. It additionally toured projects carried out under the scope of the “Strategic Plan for Economic and Trade Co-operation” and the “Memorandum of Understanding on Promoting Co-operation in Production Capacity”, both signed during the 5th Ministerial Conference of Forum Macao.

On the afternoon of December 1, the Forum Macao delegation met with China’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Xiao Jianguo. The two sides exchanged views on Forum Macao and Macao’s role as a service platform for trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. They also stressed support for deepening trade and economic ties between China and Timor-Leste, namely by utilising multilateral channels available via Forum Macao. By making use of Forum Macao and Macao’s role as a platform, both sides hoped to increase contacts and cooperation in a number of fields between China and Timor-Leste, including exchanges under the “Belt and Road” initiative, and further collaboration in humanitarian matters.

On December 2, the Forum Macao delegation visited a seafood farming project in Timor-Leste, to learn more about its development. The project is the first three-party initiative developed under the scope of Forum Macao. It was launched in 2016 by Chinese enterprise Longping High-tech Agriculture Co, with the support of China’s Ministry of Commerce. Forum Macao offered assistance to the project, engaging experts from Portugal to provide in-situ training. An aggregate of nine instructors respectively from China and Portugal provided training to 20 trainees from Timor-Leste, helping to increase the number of qualified seafood farming professionals in the country, thus contributing to the development of the fisheries sector in Timor-Leste.

Longping High-tech Agriculture has additionally established a coastal aquaculture facility in Timor-Leste, covering a total area of 5 hectares. It also works as a base for training, testing and research in farming of aquatic animals. Work at the facility is proceeding as planned, with an installed production capacity for “Penaeus vannawe” – a type of shrimp – amounting to 40 tonnes per year. Longping High-tech Agriculture has plans to expand the project’s scope.