Macao is always striving to strengthen its position as a Commercial and Trade Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. The city aims to use its unique advantages to promote the products and services of Mainland China and Portuguese-speaking Countries alike.
Since the first Macao International Trade and Investment Fair (MIF) in 1996, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) has been constantly inviting exhibitors from Portuguese-speaking Countries to take part in the event. As of 2014, the 19th MIF, a considerable number of Portuguese-speaking Countries enterprises have been organised to participate in MIF and set up thematic pavilions to showcase Portuguese-speaking Countries products and services.
To facilitate thematic promotion of Portuguese-speaking Countries products and services, in 2015, the 20th MIF, all products coming from those countries were grouped in a dedicated pavilion, creating an exhibition inside an exhibition. This arrangement helped build a great atmosphere, allowing for products and services of Portuguese-speaking Countries to be shown more prominently.
The dedicated pavilion for products and services of Portuguese-speaking Countries achieved good results for two years in a row. So the organisers decided to hold a separate exhibition, called the Portuguese-speaking Countries Products and Services Exhibition (Macao), or PLPEX. The exhibition will coincide with the 22nd MIF in October 2017.
According to IPIM, this gives PLPEX a unique position in the market and a more closely focused scope on the provision of specialised services, allowing it to attract a greater number of enterprises from Portuguese-speaking Countries. It will also help develop dedicated promotional strategies targeting enterprises in Portuguese-speaking Countries and Mainland China, contributing to the boosting of investment and the creation of more business opportunities as well as assisting Mainland enterprises in “going global”.
The first PLPEX will have an exhibition area of 3,000 square metres, compared with the 1,600 square metres that the dedicated pavilion occupied. The organisers said the event would have more than 200 exhibition booths, a more than 50 percent increase than the year before.
The PLPEX space will be divided into four main areas: Products Exhibition Area – Food Products: showcasing Portuguese-speaking Countries food products including frozen seafood, coffee, wines and spirits, meat, dairy products, health food; Products Exhibition Area – Non-food Products: cultural and sports products; fashion and accessories; shoes and handicrafts; Services Exhibition Area: fashion design, consultancy, media, e-commerce, engineering, translation, information technology, food and beverage management and trade services; and Government/Trade Promotion Organisations and Trade Associations Exhibition Area: Portuguese-speaking Countries government authorities, trade promotion organisations, trade associations and chambers of commerce.
The organisers expect visitors and buyers at PLPEX to be able to get to know the products and services of Portuguese-speaking Countries. Throughout the exhibition, those taking part will have opportunities to understand better the trade and business environments in Portuguese-speaking Countries, and their products and services, so helping businesspeople to explore fresh business opportunities in those countries.
PLPEX will feature a fashion show displaying the best from Portuguese-speaking Countries. The organisers said the fashion show this year would be bigger than those in previous years and have new elements. A presentation on the various cultures of Portuguese-speaking Countries and food tasting are among the novelties to be introduced at PLPEX this year. These features will give those attending more information about the investment environments in Portuguese-speaking Countries and let them look for potential business partners. With more interactive elements and an enriched atmosphere, the exhibition will be more enjoyable, enticing those attending to stay longer.
IPIM President Jackson Chang said: “PLPEX focuses on exhibiting and promoting products and services from Portuguese-speaking Countries with a unique theme and image, as it targets entrepreneurs and businesspeople from Mainland China.” He added: “IPIM will invite representatives of provincial and municipal governments and business delegations to participate in various activities, including visiting the exhibition venue, attending symposiums and taking part in business-matching sessions.”
This year marks the 22nd MIF which will be held with PLPEX concurrently. “With a huge exhibitor and audience participation (there were more than 1,600 exhibition booths at the 21st MIF, attracting delegations from over 50 countries and regions), PLPEX will be able to create a synergy effect with MIF to provide exhibitors with the opportunity to meet potential clients and business partners from other countries and regions during the three-day exhibition period,” Mr Chang said.
PLPEX will have forums and a service area for small and medium-sized enterprises from Portuguese-speaking Countries that will provide various services, including translation and consultancy. This will give exhibitors and businesspeople, the chance to link up with service providers, helping foster bilingualism in Chinese and Portuguese and the related services.
As last year, this year’s MIF will again give priority to hiring bilingual professionals in Chinese and Portuguese registered at the Economic and Trade Co-operation and Human Resources Portal between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (the Portal) as part-time workers responsible for translation and reception duties. This gives bilingual people the chance to put their knowledge to use and gain work experience. This initiative will also help exhibitors and the public overcome any communication barriers, strengthening their confidence of using Macao as a Commercial and Trade Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
Mr Chang said PLPEX reinforced the position of Macao as an economic and trade co-operation and exhibition centre between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. He said the official establishment in Macao of the headquarters of the China and Portuguese-speaking Countries Co-operation and Development Fund meant enterprises in China and Portuguese-speaking Countries could obtain investment and financial support.
Mr Chang said the exhibition areas and the series of forums and other activities on trade and investment in Portuguese-speaking Countries could help promote closer co-operation between Mainland China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, contributing to the development of each other. IPIM’s President said this, in conjunction with the advantages afforded by Macao being a Commercial and Trade Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, supported the development of Macao’s own financial industry.
Mr Chang additionally said the development of Macao as a Commercial and Trade Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries was ongoing, and that IPIM has organised various activities to support the project this year. “A study visit to Mainland China after this year’s PLPEX will be organised for representatives of the Portuguese-speaking Countries that take part in the exhibition and for representatives of Macao enterprises,” Mr Chang said. “The initial idea is to visit Zhuhai and Zhongshan, cities included in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area initiative, as well as other towns and regions in the city,” he said. “The goal is to enhance mutual understanding between Portuguese-speaking Countries and the cities covered by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Area, bringing into full play the role and functions of Macao as the co-operation platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.”