The Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao), Ms Xu Yingzhen, led a delegation on a visit to Portugal from June 19 to 22. The visit followed the travelling party’s participation in the “12th Entrepreneurs Meeting for Commercial and Economic Cooperation between China and Portugal”, held in Cape Verde.
While in Portugal, the delegation attended the “Entrepreneurial Forum on Business Opportunities between Portugal, China and Macao”, in order to promote industrial capacity cooperation between China and Portugal, and the diversification of development in the two places.
Portugal’s Secretary of State for Internationalisation, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Jorge Costa Oliveira, and China’s Ambassador to Portugal, Mr Cai Run, attended the event and they each delivered a speech. The forum attracted over 200 officials and entrepreneurs from Mainland China, Portugal and Macao. They discussed several topics, including: industrial capacity cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries; Macao’s function as a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. Two cooperation projects were also signed during the forum.
In a keynote speech, Forum Macao’s Ms Xu said that the well-developed mechanism of Forum Macao and the years of experience in cooperation could help to further industrial capacity cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. Such cooperation could produce several benefits for both sides: first, Portuguese-speaking Countries could gain access to Mainland China’s sophisticated industrial system; second, the Portuguese-speaking Countries were located at important crossroads for economic activity between the places; third, all the places could utilise Macao’s advantages as a platform.
The Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao would work on the following initiatives to promote industrial capacity cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries: first, the Permanent Secretariat would gather detailed information and promote partnerships in several projects; second, it would strength communication and exchange channels in order to help find new opportunities for cooperation; third, it would promote trilateral and multilateral cooperation, with Macao as the base; fourth, it would promote opportunities to exchange qualified professionals between the places. At the same time, the Permanent Secretariat would continue to promote the role and advantages of Macao as a platform in order to promote cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
During its stay in Portugal, the delegation led by Forum Macao paid visits to, respectively, the Chinese Embassy in Portugal, the Portuguese Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The delegation also held meetings with the Directorate-General of Health and the Economic and Food Safety Authority of Portugal, in order to exchange opinions over various issues, including the promotion of economic and social development in the participating countries of Forum Macao, encouraging enterprises to invest, and strengthening industrial capacity cooperation in strategic areas such as new sources of energy, e-commerce, tourism and fisheries.
Delegates also visited Startup Lisboa better to understand local policies regarding innovation and entrepreneurship and to share experiences. Such visits help exchanges on innovation and entrepreneurship between young entrepreneurs from Mainland China, Portugal and Macao.
Currently, there is a close collaboration between China and Portugal in a number of areas, with significant results in fields such as trade and investment. In 2016, the trade volume between China and Portugal reached approximately US$5.62 billion, up 28.5 percent from the previous year. In the period between January and April 2017, exports from Portugal to China were worth US$580 million, up by 43.6 percent. Total investment from China into Portugal has also been increasing, reaching US$8 billion and covering areas such as energy, communication facilities, finance, water services, insurance and healthcare.
The activities in Portugal and the participation in the “Entrepreneurial Forum on Business Opportunities between Portugal, China and Macao” enhanced the exchange between enterprises from Mainland China, Portugal and Macao and strengthened the working relations with the economic and trade departments of Portugal, which allows the representatives from Mainland China and Macao better to understand the economic advantages of Portugal. This promotes further the industrial capacity cooperation between enterprises from Mainland China, Macao and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
With the multilateral mechanism of Forum Macao and Macao as a platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, it is anticipated that industrial capacity cooperation can become the new trigger of growth for economic and trade cooperation between the two sides, helping achieve mutual benefits.