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, visited Guinea-Bissau from June 24 to 26.
The group was joined by a delegation of business people from Qingdao in Shandong Province, Mainland China, led by the Head of Qingdao Municipality’s Administration for Industry and Commerce, Mr Xu Jianfu.
The Forum Macao delegation toured a number of China-funded infrastructure projects in Guinea-Bissau. It was accompanied by China’s Economic and Commercial Counsellor in the country. Projects visited included: the Sino-Guinean Friendship School; Guinea-Bissau’s National Health School; the Parliament Building; the Presidential Palace; the Government Palace; the National Stadium; and port facilities.
During the visit, Deputy Secretary-General Mr Ding met with: Guinea-Bissau’s Secretary of State for Regional Planning and Integration, Mr Humilhano Alves Cardoso; the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Mr Suleimane Seidi; the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Guinea-Bissau, Mr Tian Yuzheng; Guinea-Bissau’s Minister of Fisheries, Ms Maria Adiatu Djalo Nandigna; and its Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Livestock, Mr Nicolau dos Santos. The delegation also met with representatives from Guinea-Bissau’s industrial and commercial sectors.
Mr Ding stressed that the purpose of the visit to Guinea-Bissau was to strengthen ties between the Permanent Secretariat and those authorities in Guinea-Bissau overseeing matters linked to Forum Macao’s areas of responsibility. Forum Macao also sought to build ties with other government departments in Guinea-Bissau. The visit was additionally an opportunity to exchange views on the development of Forum Macao.
During the meetings with officials from Guinea-Bissau, 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. The Deputy Secretary-General also shared with his hosts information about the Permanent Secretariat’s programme of activities. Mr Ding said he hoped Guinea-Bissau could use Macao’s “platform” role to boost international cooperation; he added that the Permanent Secretariat would actively strive to create links between enterprises in China and in Portuguese-speaking Countries, promoting pragmatic bilateral cooperation.
The Qingdao delegation, for its part, presented the latest economic developments in that city.
The Guinea-Bissau representatives unanimously expressed their appreciation of, and recognition for, the results achieved by Forum Macao and the role played by Macao as a cooperation platform. They made clear their intention to continue to participate in, and vigorously support, Forum Macao.
Mr Cardoso expressed his country’s willingness to make the most of Forum Macao’s role as a platform, thereby deepening bilateral cooperation. Mr Seidi said bilateral cooperation could achieve fruitful results under the framework of Forum Macao.
During the visit to the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Guinea-Bissau, Mr Tian, the parties exchanged views on: the next Ministerial Conference of Forum Macao; the Permanent Secretariat’s programme of activities; the implementation of the “18 new measures” to promote cooperation, as announced by China during the 5th Ministerial Conference of Forum Macao; and the opportunities available under Forum Macao’s current Strategic Plan for Economic and Trade Co-operation, in the fields of agricultural cooperation, human resources training and health cooperation.
Guinea-Bissau’s Minister of Fisheries and its Minister of Agriculture both noted that they were well acquainted with Forum Macao having attended the 1st Ministerial Conference. They both expressed great appreciation for this cooperation mechanism, and said they expected Guinea-Bissau would continue to foster cooperation with China through Forum Macao, including by inviting Chinese companies to invest in Guinea-Bissau.
The Forum Macau delegation also held a meeting with Guinea-Bissau’s body in charge of investment promotion, and with representatives of local trade associations, to exchange views on bilateral cooperation. The business representatives from Guinea-Bissau expressed their confidence in the strengthening of business ties between China and Guinea-Bissau through the work of Forum Macao.
After visiting Guinea-Bissau, the Forum Macao delegation travelled to Cabo Verde for a series of institutional visits.