A delegation led by the Deputy Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao, Mr Ding Tian, visited São Tomé and Príncipe from November 13 to 15. It was the first visit of a delegation of the Permanent Secretariat to the country since March 2017, when São Tomé and Príncipe officially became a member of Forum Macao.
The President of São Tomé and Príncipe, Mr Evaristo Carvalho, welcomed the delegation. During a meeting, the Deputy Secretary-General Mr Ding provided a brief introduction about the work carried out by Forum Macao and the Permanent Secretariat. He stated that the Permanent Secretariat was committed to further exchanges between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
Next year’s edition of the “Business Meeting between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries” will be held in São Tomé and Príncipe. It is expected that the event might help firms from São Tomé and Príncipe to explore fresh business opportunities, and contribute to enhance economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. At the meeting, São Tomé and Príncipe’s President said his country was willing proactively to participate in and would fully commit to continue supporting the work done by Forum Macao. Mr Carvalho briefed the delegation about São Tomé and Príncipe’s unique advantages in a number of areas: fisheries, agriculture, the food processing industry, and tourism. He also welcomed Chinese firms’ investment to the country, hoping to have further cooperation with China via Forum Macao.
The delegation also met with the Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe, Mr Patrice Émery Trovoada. Mr Trovoada hailed the achievements of Forum Macao and the platform role of Macao. He also gave an introduction to the economic and trade environment of São Tomé and Príncipe. Mr Trovoada said he wished to explore further the Chinese market via Macao, and to attract more firms to invest in São Tomé and Príncipe. Both sides agreed on strengthening communication and deepening collaboration.
The delegation of the Permanent Secretariat had other meetings while in São Tomé and Príncipe. They were with, respectively: the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Communities, Mr Urbino Botelho; Minister ofFinance, Commerce and the Blue Economy, Américo d’Oliveira dos Ramos; and with the Economic Advisor to São Tomé and Príncipe’s President. The delegation included people designated focal points of Forum Macao, representatives of the Macao Government Protocol Department, representatives of the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), and members of Macao-based business associations.
The meetings’ discussion topics were, respectively: the work of Forum Macao and the role of Macao in the development of economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries; a third-party evaluation of Forum Macao; and the upcoming 6th Ministerial Conference of Forum Macao. All the discussions aimed to strengthen the connection and cooperation in different fields between China and São Tomé and Príncipe via Forum Macao and Macao, and to deepen the friendship between the two countries.
The delegation visited a Chinese-financed road construction project. Forum Macao’s Deputy Secretary-General Mr Ding was interviewed by various media and explained the aim of the visit and further promoted the work carried out by Forum Macao during the visit to São Tomé and Príncipe.
The delegation returned to Macao after a 14-day tour to several Portuguese-speaking Countries, namely: Mozambique, Angola, Portugal,and São Tomé and Príncipe.