Macao and the Portuguese-speaking Countries have maintained close historical and cultural relations over the centuries. Macao shares with Portuguese-speaking Countries the same administrative and legal system as well as the same official language, Portuguese, therefore the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR), has two official languages, Chinese and Portuguese. Macao residents are acquainted with the traditions and cultures of Mainland China and Portuguese-speaking Countries and the business community in Macao have an in-depth knowledge of the markets of China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. These advantages contribute to deepen Macao’s role as the service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
In Macao, bilingual teaching, in Chinese and Portuguese, has always been encouraged and efforts have been developed top train bilingual talents in those languages. Many Macao residents are very knowledgeable about the culture, religions and customs of Portuguese-speaking Countries. Several small and medium-sized enterprises in Macao take advantage of these benefits to develop cooperation ties with Portuguese-speaking Countries, namely through trade.
Since the establishment of the Macao SAR, following the principles of “One Country, Two Systems”, “Macao administrated by its people” and a “High degree of autonomy” and the other principles enshrined in the Basic Law, the Macao SAR economy has shown rapid development, ensuring a constant improvement of livelihood conditions for residents, as well as stability, peace and harmonious coexistence between the communities that make up the Macao society. The Macao SAR is becoming more internationally known.
With the great support of the Central Government of China, the Portuguese-speaking Countries and the Government of the Macao SAR, five Ministerial Conferences of Forum Macao were held in the Macao SAR, with notable success. The establishment, in Macao, of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao and its Training Centre, as well as the headquarters of the China-Portuguese-speaking Countries Co-operation and Development Fund, the setting up the Business Federation of China and Portuguese-speaking Countries and the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Exchange of Young People of China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and also promoting the construction of the “Three Centres”, namely, the “Commercial Service Centre for Small and Medium Enterprises of China and Portuguese-speaking Countries”, the “Distribution Centre for Food Products of Portuguese-speaking Countries”, and the “Convention and Exhibition Centre for Economic and Commercial Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries” within the scope of the service platform for trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries and the Service Platform Complex for Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, as well as the China-Portuguese-speaking Countries Commercial and Trade Service Platform Complex, further highlight the role of Macao as the service platform for trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
According to the 14th Five-Year Plan of the Central Government, the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and other directives, the Macao SAR Government has been promoting with great effort the creation of the World Tourism and Leisure Centre and the accelerated development of the Service Platform for Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, constructing Macao as a multiple-culture exchange and cooperation base with an emphasis on Chinese culture, actively participating in regional and international cooperation, including the consolidation of cooperation with Portuguese-speaking Countries. The establishment of the Master Plan of the Development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin creates further conditions for Macao’s long-term development, providing the city with additional land area, and new opportunities to enhance people’s welfare and livelihoods, while strengthening economic and development ties between Macao and Mainland China.
The Macao SAR Government has always sought to encourage and support small and medium-sized enterprises in their cooperation with Portuguese-speaking Countries, push the business community to make better use of local advantages, including its bilingual talents in Chinese and Portuguese to provide services, legal advice and consultancy, intermediary and translation services, in matters related to agriculture, fisheries, natural resources, language teaching, culture, banking, insurance, engineering, electricity, pharmaceuticals, meat processing, logistics, clinical services, telecommunications, construction, information, restaurants, technologies and broadcasting, among others.
Companies can enter the European market through Portugal; enter the South American market through Brazil, as well as explore the African market through Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tome and Príncipe and enter the ASEAN market through Timor-Leste.
Macao has supported enterprises in searching their partners in Mainland China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, provided information, consultancy for Lusophone communities, associations and chambers of commerce and Macanese organisations based in Macao, small and medium-sized enterprises in Macao, as well as companies in Portuguese-speaking Countries and Mainland China, and helped them to organise economic, commercial and cultural activities.
Macao has also maintained close contacts with Mainland China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and always tends to reinforce Macao’s own advantages, continuously consolidate the role of Macao as the platform for trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries and therefore fully acts as a connecting bridge.