The third meeting of Forum Macao’s “Working Group on Cooperation in Capacity Production” was held on December 11, in Beijing. The working group’s goal is to promote implementation of Forum Macao’s “Memorandum of Understanding on Promoting Co-operation in Production Capacity”.
About 40 participants attended the meeting. They included representatives of two entities of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China: the Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation, and the Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs. Also present were members of the diplomatic corps stationed in Beijing that represent Portuguese-speaking Countries; representatives of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s Regional Office in China; representatives of the Ministry of Commerce’s China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges; and members of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Secretary General of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao Ding Tian.
During the session, the Head of the Working Group on Cooperation in Capacity Production – and Coordinator of the Executive Office of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao – Hu Huajun, made a presentation on the main tasks carried out by the group in 2018. He noted that, since the group’s second meeting last year, the body had organised several activities, including visits to each of the eight Portuguese-speaking Countries. There, meetings on capacity production with local companies had been held, in order to foster cooperation. These trips were also used to see projects with strong potential in the field of capacity production cooperation.
During the same period, the working group had visited a number of provinces and municipalities of Mainland China, namely Anhui, Jiangsu and Guangxi, for economic and trade meetings. The visits served to promote cooperation on capacity production between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries through various business platforms.
The Representatives of the Participating Countries of Forum Macao then delivered presentations on the progress made in capacity production cooperation by their respective countries. They noted the need to make available more financing for enterprises for projects in this area, and the need to consolidate and strengthen information exchanges. The Representatives recommended fully using the funding sources and funds currently available, in order to implement a greater number of projects. They also recommended increasing the promotion of capacity production cooperation through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms.
Zheng Chao, Commercial Counsellor at the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation, said at the December 11 meeting that China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries were currently at key stages in their respective development. He expressed hope that progress could be made towards further mutual development and integration, as well as in order to strengthen trilateral cooperation and develop new, common, goals. This would help carry forward into a new era Forum Macao’s role as a platform for promotion of capacity production between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
The Deputy Representative to China of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Ma Jian, and a representative of the Ministry of Commerce’s China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges, also attended the meeting, delivering presentations about their respective organisations. They briefed attendees on the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, and discussed potential for trilateral cooperation, multilateral investments, and the availability of financing tools for projects involving a technological component. They also presented some successful case studies in this area.
In his concluding remarks, Deputy Secretary General Mr Ding underlined the joint efforts made by the governments and enterprises of Forum Macao’s Participating Countries, saying these were key for boosting cooperation on capacity production between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. He called for the launch of more – and more effective – cooperation projects, in coordination with national policies. Mr Ding stated that capacity production cooperation planning should be reasonable and based on rigorous risk assessment, so that cooperation could focus on viable projects, supported by favourable measures to encourage business, thus helping companies to identify feasible projects. In addition, all parties should promote implementation of existing measures in the field of capacity production cooperation.
He added that Forum Macao – as a multilateral cooperation mechanism – would continue to promote activities related to capacity production, eyeing higher complementarity between all parties involved. He stressed that Participating Countries should strive to constantly improve their respective investment environment and increase availability of information on investment projects, making the best use of Forum Macao as a platform for investment promotion.
During their stay in Beijing, the representatives from the Permanent Secretariat also visited the facilities of electronics and media company StarTimes. The group – providing digital television technologies – has a strong presence in China’s broadcasting sector. StarTimes is the fastest-growing digital television firm in Africa, actively promoting pragmatic cooperation in culture, radio, film and television between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.