A delegation headed by Mr Ding Tian, Deputy Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, a body also known as Forum Macao, toured Cabo Verde on June 27 and 28. The delegation was joined by a group of business people from Qingdao in Shandong Province, Mainland China. The visit followed the delegation’s trip to neighbouring Guinea-Bissau.
During its visit to Cabo Verde, the Forum Macao delegation had a meeting with the President of Cabo Verde, Mr Jorge Fonseca. It also had meetings with: a representative of the Chinese Embassy in Cabo Verde, Mr Wong Feng; Cabo Verde’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Mr Olavo Correia; the Sports Minister, Mr Fernando Elísio Freire; the President of Cabo Verde TradeInvest, Ms Ana Barber; and the National Director for Foreign Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communities, Ambassador Júlio Morais.
While in Cabo Verde, the Qingdao business people attended a number of business-matching sessions with local counterparts. Mr Ding was also interviewed by local media.
Mr Ding stated that the purpose of the visit to Cabo Verde was to strengthen ties between the Permanent Secretariat and those authorities in the country overseeing matters linked to Forum Macao’s work. In that regard, both sides exchanged views on the development of Forum Macao.
During the meetings with officials from Cabo Verde, Mr Ding discussed the commemorative activities marking the 15th anniversary of the founding of Forum Macao, and the conclusions of an external assessment on Forum Macao’s work. He also shared details about Forum Macao’s operations and its programme of activities.
Mr Ding thanked the Cabo Verde authorities, on behalf of Forum Macao, for its long-standing support for Forum Macao’s work. He said he hoped that – with the support of the country’s current representative in Forum Macao – both sides could further promote in Mainland China and Macao, Cabo Verde’s business environment, policies and investment opportunities. Forum Macao would continue to look for new areas for cooperation, so that all involved parties could make use of Macao’s role as a “platform” to boost development.
The Cabo Verde representatives expressed their appreciation of the achievements of Forum Macao, and said they recognised the importance of Macao as a cooperation platform. They made clear their collective intention to continue to participate in, and vigorously support, Forum Macao.
In warmly welcoming the Permanent Secretariat’s delegation, President Fonseca stressed that he paid close attention to all matters related to Forum Macao and to Macao’s role as a cooperation platform. Mr Fonseca stated he was keen to visit Macao, and proposed that Forum Macao strengthen ties with the body known as the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries. The President also pledged full support for Forum Macao.
Mr Correia said he was fully committed to continue supporting the work of Forum Macao, adding he was keen on intensifying mutual contacts in order to implement particular projects with the support of Forum Macao.
Mr Freire said cooperation between China and Cabo Verde was showing great vitality. He expressed willingness to learn from China’s experience in developing special economic zones, in order to help transform Cabo Verde into a service platform, thus boosting the development of China and Cabo Verde, and consolidating business cooperation.
Cabo Verde TradeInvest’s Ms Barber stated her appreciation for the work of Forum Macao. She said businesses should further take advantage of this cooperation platform to boost development, by making use of the support offered by Forum Macao and Cabo Verde’s representative in the organisation. In addition, Ms Barber proposed a deepening of training cooperation, and an increase in market research and promotion, and in available funding.
Ambassador Morais noted he had been directly involved in the work of Forum Macao while stationed in Beijing as Cabo Verde’s Ambassador to China. He expressed his satisfaction at seeing Forum Macao reach its 15th anniversary, and gave an assurance of his support for the organisation. Ambassador Morais stated he was sure Forum Macao would continue to develop its role and reach new heights of achievement.
During its visit to Cabo Verde, the Permanent Secretariat delegation visited China’s largest foreign aid project in the country, a university campus. The group also toured a tourism project currently under development by a Macao businessman.