The launch ceremony of the “Report on the Evolution of Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (2018-2019)” took place on May 13, 2020 at the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST). The report was jointly edited by the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and the Institute for Social and Cultural Research of MUST. The production of the report was supported by the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao) and it was published by the Social Sciences Academic Press (China).
More than 30 officials attended the launch ceremony. They included: Deputy Secretary-General of Forum Macao, Mr Ding Tian; Deputy Secretary-General of Forum Macao, Mr Casimiro de Jesus Pinto; the Chief of the Promotion Division of the Trade Office of the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Ms Yao Yao; the Deputy Director of the Higher Education Bureau of Macao, Mr Chang Kun Hong; the Vice President of the Macau University of Science and Technology, Mr Pang Chuan; and the delegates to the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao.
During the ceremony, Deputy-General of Forum Macao Mr Ding highlighted the importance of Forum Macao since its establishment in 2003. With the joint endeavour of the Macao SAR Government and the Portuguese-speaking member-states of Forum Macao, the body had contributed to strengthening the cooperation between Mainland China, Macao and the eight Portuguese-speaking Countries. A total of nine countries and one Special Administrative Region – representing an aggregate population of more than 1.7 billion people – had maintained closed collaboration and striven to explore jointly, fresh opportunities for development, and to boost mutually-beneficial cooperation.
Mr Ding emphasised the increasing cooperation taking place between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries in various fields, as well as the growing importance of Macao’s role as a between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, demonstrating increasing cross-border cooperation in different fields.
As the novel coronavirus pneumonia has continued to spread around the world, it has created challenges for global economic recovery and for economic development in the countries participating in Forum Macao, Mr Ding noted. He encouraged experts and scholars to engage in discussions and to carry out constructive debate on topics such as promoting exchanges and cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries during the epidemic and the post-epidemic period.
The Vice President of the Macau University of Science and Technology, Mr Pang Chuan, pointed out that cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries had continued to grow in recent years. The cooperation between the two sides had extended beyond trade, investment, infrastructure construction, energy and training of human resources, to cover also emerging areas related to modern commercial services and advanced technology, such as a space-science programme and deep-sea exploration.
In a new era of development, Mr Peng stressed that Macao should carry forward the building of Macao’s role as a Commercial and Trade Cooperation Service Platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries; strengthen its position and give full play to its role, and encourage further the cooperation between the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Portuguese-speaking Countries. Macao should also make good use of its advantage as a separate customs territory and its access to an overseas network, to: seize the opportunities arising from the development of Hengqin Island; support the country’s opening-up effort; and work as a bridge connecting Mainland China and the countries and regions encompassing respectively, the Belt and Road Initiative, the Portuguese-speaking Countries and Latin American Countries.
The “Report on the Evolution of Economic and Trade between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (2018-2019)” was co-edited by Mr Gu Xueming and Mr Lin Guangzhi. Within the context of the “One country, two systems” policy and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the book has provided a comprehensive analysis of the current cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries in terms of its features, challenges and trends. The report also reviews the progress of Macao as a Commercial and Trade Cooperation Service Platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, providing constructive comments and suggestions. The report, being the first dual-language version and using Chinese and Portuguese, includes articles by 30 scholars from respectively Mainland China, Macao and Portugal.