Asia > Eastern Asia > Macau > Economic and trade cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries

Macau: Economic and trade cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries

2013/11/18

Economic and trade cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking nations will be deepened, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang guaranteed on Tuesday in Macau, announcing an eight-point plan with specific measures to be implemented between 2014 and 2016.

In the opening speech of the fourth Ministerial Conference of Forum Macau, Wang said that the initial of those measures would be the Chinese government’s granting of subsidised loans worth 1.8 billion yuan (US$293 million) to the Portuguese-speaking African and Asian Forum member nations.

The vice premier next mentioned China’s desire to share with Portuguese language nations the successful experience of its appropriate economic zones and development zones. He announced that Chinese companies would be encouraged, albeit respecting market economy rules, to help promote and create such zones in interested nations.

Three of the eight points set out by Wang Yang focused on teaching and professional training. China will help all the Portuguese-speaking nations from Africa and Asia which are Forum Macau members to build infrastructures such as schools and training centres.

China will invite 2,000 people from those nations, inclunding postgraduate students, to take part in training actions, some of them offered locally. It will as well grant 1,800 scholarships to governments from the Portuguese-speaking African and Asian Forum Macau member nations.

Besides a generic point concerning sectors deemed priority, Wang highlighted the use of Macau as a place for sharing data “in order to create a platform in Macau to promote the interchange of qualified bilingual people and business cooperation in various areas”.

Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi mentioned that his country has benefited from scholarships in China and Macau, adding that it was necessary to continue paying appropriate attention to sectors that can help increase production and productivity with results that tangibly reduce the dependence of populations.

Baloi said it was the Mozambican government’s firm belief that the private sector plays a crucial role in the country’s development. He referred to the US$1 billion Cooperation Fund for Development between China and the Portuguese-speaking Nations announced in Macau at the third Forum Macau Ministerial Conference, as a lever to “boost private investment and the establishment of public/private partnerships”.

Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer referred in his speech to human resource training, noting that 182 students from Portuguese speaking African nations were part the total of 228 students at the Afro-Brazilian Lusophony Integration University.

Temer said he hoped it would be possible to reach the target of US$160 billion in trade exchanges part Forum Macau member nations by 2016, and announced the creation of a Centre for Trade Services for Small and Medium Sized Companies from the Portuguese Language Nations, to be based in Macau.

Portuguese Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas hailed Macau as an significant commercial and services platform and privileged bridge connecting China and the Portuguese-speaking nations. He stressed that “Forum Macau can and should play a crucial role by forming the connection between four continents, from Asia to South America via Africa and Europe”.

The Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau, Rui Duarte Barros, used his speech to announce that he will place on the schedule of cooperation with China the intention to assure financing by Chinese public and private entities for projects deemed vital for his country’s economy, specifically in the transport, energy, mineral resources, agriculture, fisheries and tourism sectors.

Guinea-Bissau’s government plans to examine with its Chinese counterpart ways to access the financing mechanisms envisaged in the scope of Forum Macau and others meant “to make the announced goals a reality”, he added.

The Vice Prime Minister of East Timor, Fernando La Sama de Araújo, said that China is one of the strong strategic partners for development, adding that his government would like to be able to count on investment from China and the Portuguese language nations to establish appropriate economic zones (SEZs) in Oecusse and Atauro.

Besides the two SEZs, La Sama de Araújo as well mentioned plans to develop the country’s south coast as a sub-regional oil industry hub, inclunding tourism throughout the country.

Angola’s Minister for Justice and Human Rights, Rui Mangueira, noted that his country has focused efforts during 11 years of effective peace on establishing and consolidating a strategic partnership with China.

“Each of our nations has its own skills, experiences and realities to share in the context of this Forum and which are certainly useful for the construction of our common destinies,” Mangueira told the audience at the opening ceremony of the fourth Forum Macau Ministerial Forum.

Cape Verde’s Minister for Tourism, Industry and Energy, Humberto Brito, praised the vital support of China and Macau for the functioning and development of Forum Macau and said his government awaited with great expectation the implementation of the Cooperation Fund for Development between China and the Portuguese-speaking Nations.

“The Fund’s application will promote investment projects, preferably those influencing the creation of wealth and our nations’ increase, involving the respective business communities,” Brito said.

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