Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has said relations between Macao and Portugal, and between China and Portugal, are going through what he called an “extremely good phase”, the Macao Daily News reports.

The newspaper says the president said so in Lisbon on Monday when he met visiting Macao Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On.

The report quotes Mr Rebelo de Sousa as expressing delight at the high regard Chinese President Xi Jinping has for the role of Macao as a place where China and the Portuguese-speaking world can conduct business.

The use of the Portuguese language in Macao could facilitate engagement between China and lusophone countries in economic, social, cultural and technological matters, Mr Rebelo de Sousa said.

Macao will keep improving its command of Portuguese, and the Chinese Belt and Road initiative and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will present more opportunities for co-operation between Macau and Portugal, the Macao Daily News quotes Mr Chui as saying.