The 14th Ordinary Meeting of the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-Operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Forum Macao) was held in Macao on March 27. During the meeting, representatives from the Participating Countries in Forum Macao approved the 2018 work report of the Permanent Secretariat and the body’s plan of activities for 2019.
Representatives attending the meeting also discussed matters related to follow-up work regarding the goals set during the 5th Ministerial Conference of Forum Macao, as well as to the preparation work for the 6th Ministerial Conference.
The Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao reported that during 2018, in pursuit of the goals set respectively in the “Strategic Plan for Economic and Trade Co-operation” for 2017-2019 and the “Memorandum of Understanding on Promoting Co-operation in Production Capacity”, both signed during Forum Macao’s 5th Ministerial Conference, it had achieved a number of objectives. They included promotion of pragmatic cooperation in various fields between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, including expansion of Forum Macao’s ‘friend network’ through exchanges with more Provinces and Municipalities of Mainland China, in order to introduce Portuguese-speaking Countries to a greater number of Chinese enterprises. In addition Forum Macao delegations had visited all the Portuguese-speaking Countries, in order further to promote to companies and people in those countries Forum Macao and Macao’s role as a platform, thus actively exploring the diversification of cooperation opportunities and the widening of communication channels between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. Forum Macao had also: advanced cooperation on human resources and cultural exchanges; promoted – as part of the 15th anniversary of the establishment of Forum Macao – an external review of its work, in order to compile past experience and set a strategy for the future; and assisted in positioning Macao as a Service Platform for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, organising and participating in various cultural, economic and commercial activities.
All those present at the 14th Ordinary Meeting concluded that the 2018 plan of activities of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao had been fully implemented.
Regarding the plan of activities for 2019, the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao would focus on: cooperation on trade and investment; collaboration in production capacity; human resource training, cultural exchanges between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries; and supporting the positioning of Macao as a platform. In addition, the Permanent Secretariat would continue to implement the goals set during the 5th Ministerial Conference and advance preparation work for the 6th Ministerial Conference.
In 2019, the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao aims to grasp opportunities arising from Macao’s location and from its participation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the “Belt and Road” initiative, in order to deepen integration in economic and investment cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and support the Macao SAR Government’s efforts to position the city as a Commercial and Trade Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
During the meeting, the representatives from Participating Countries in Forum Macao approved the plan of activities of the Permanent Secretariat for 2019.
The parties additionally exchanged views related to follow-up work regarding goals set during the 5th Ministerial Conference of Forum Macao and development of a Commercial and Trade Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
The new officials of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao were also officially introduced during the meeting. They are: Deputy Secretary-General (appointed by the Macao SAR) Mr Casimiro de Jesus Pinto; and the newly-appointed Representative of São Tomé and Príncipe, Mr Gika Makeba da Graça Simão.
Additionally, all participating delegations expressed sympathy and condolences regarding the victims of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, and the other losses caused by it.
The annual meeting was attended by several parties, including: a delegation of the People’s Republic of China, featuring representatives from the Ministry of Commerce and from the Trade Office and the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR; delegations of all Portuguese-speaking Countries, featuring their respective diplomatic representatives to Beijing and their focal points in Forum Macao; and a delegation on behalf of Macao, made of representatives from the Macao SAR Government departments involved in matters related to Forum Macao.