A delegation from the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, a body also known as Forum Macao, visited Portugal from June 19 to 23 and attended the “China-Portugal Enterprises Economic and Commercial Meeting – Lisbon 2018”. During the event, the Permanent Secretariat held a cocktail reception on June 21 on the occasion of the 15th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. At the reception, a photographic exhibition chronicling Forum Macao events was displayed.
The Vice-President of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Mr Edmund Ho Hau Wah; Portugal’s Minister of Economy, Mr Manuel Caldeira Cabral; Vice-Minister of Commerce of China, Ms Gao Yan; and the Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government, Mr Leong Vai Tac, attended the reception and gave speeches. Other guests were also present at the reception, among them Portugal’s Secretary of State of Tax Affairs, Mr António Mendonça Mendes; the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Portugal, Mr Xu Zhida; and representatives of the Diplomatic Corps of Portuguese-speaking Countries.
Mr Ho mentioned in his speech that the Macao SAR Government had actively built over the years a mechanism known as the Commercial and Trade Cooperation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and had achieved remarkable results. He encouraged Chinese business people to take advantage of Macao’s “Platform” role, to access markets in Portuguese-speaking Countries, the European Union, Latin America and Africa. Portuguese-speaking Countries, for their part, would also be able to take advantage of Macao’s special role, in order to look for fresh business opportunities in China, he added. The advancement of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area would certainly contribute to the future development of Forum Macao, Mr Ho noted. Macao was integral to the planning of the Greater Bay Area and also played the aforementioned role of being a Commercial and Trade Cooperation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, making it easier for such countries to access the opportunities created by advancement of the Greater Bay Area.
Vice-Minister Gao praised the achievements made by Forum Macao over the past 15 years, noting that the influence and cohesion of Forum Macao was growing day by day with the joint efforts of all involved and the active support of the Macao SAR Government. She also pointed out that economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries had achieved remarkable results, and that advancement of Macao’s Platform role continued. The Vice-Minister reiterated her commitment to the principles of “Uniting Efforts towards Cooperation, Jointly Building the Platform, Sharing the Benefits of Development” under the “Belt, and Road” initiative; and to working with the Portuguese-speaking Countries to share development opportunities. This would lead the cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries to a new phase of high-quality development, enabling those countries to join forces to make Forum Macao a worldwide example of cooperation under the “Belt and Road” initiative, with the ultimate goal of better contributing to the well-being of the peoples involved.
Secretary Leong mentioned in his speech that the construction of the Commercial and Trade Cooperation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries was an important part of Forum Macao’s work. He recalled that the Macao SAR Government had had a direct role in the achievements of Forum Macao over the past 15 years and that Forum Macao had made every effort to take advantage of the city’s potential, striving to play a role as a bridge between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. He also pointed out that the transformation of Macao under the “Centre and Platform” policies – as well as the promotion of the city’s adequate economic diversification – were priorities of the Macao SAR Government. It was necessary to encourage the services sector to trade between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries by building a new dynamic for industries and for the Platform, thus providing better support services for the pursuit of cooperation and exchanges in trade and economic matters between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
Mr Cabral said that Portugal would provide China with feedback regarding the latter’s “Belt and Road” initiative. He added that – with the assistance of Macao’s Platform role – Portugal could be promoted as a country of many business opportunities. As such, investment by Mainland Chinese and Macao business people could be encouraged in Portugal, and this would further promote the economic development of Macao, China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, as well as improving cooperation ties between these partners.
Guests from, and representatives of, various places, associations and companies expressed high appreciation while at the event, for the role that Forum Macao had played over the past 15 years and praised the results achieved, discussing in some depth the construction of the Platform, and of strengthening economic and trade cooperation between Mainland China, Macao and Portuguese-speaking Countries, as well as the promotion of Macao’s adequate economic diversification and sustainable development.