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EXCELLENT PROSPECTS RESULTING FROM MACAO’S STRENGTHENED ROLE AS A TRADE AND ECONOMIC SERVICE PLATFORM BETWEEN CHINA AND PORTUGUESE-SPEAKING COUNTRIES

Over the years, Macao has maintained a friendly liaison with Portuguese-speaking countries(PSCs). After the return of sovereignty to China, the support of the Central Government andthe effort made by the SAR Government have reinforced the connection and further intensifiedMacao’s role as a bridge for communication between China and PSCs. In October 2003, thefirst Ministerial Meeting of the China and Portuguese-speaking Countries Economic and TradeCo-operation Forum was held in Macao, which was an opportunity to highlight Macao’s uniquestrength as a trade and economic service platform between China and Portuguese-speakingcountries. Over the last decade, the SAR Government has developed a wide range of policies topromote moderate economic diversification and sustainable development, as a result, Macao’s roleas a service platform has received wide recognition. Bilateral investment and trade between Chinaand PSCs have shown remarkable growth, resulting in accelerated and deepened collaborationin various aspects. As such, the National Twelfth Five-Year Plan explicitly stated that Macaowill work towards becoming a trade and economic service platform between China and PSCs.

“MIPALOP style” exhibition area in IPIM’s Macao Idea

HIGHLIGHTING ITS UNIQUE ADVANTAGE THROUGH THE ROLEAS A SERVICE PLATFORM

The seven PSCs, namely Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugaland East Timor, are on the four continents with a total population of 260 million and cover a totalarea larger than Europe. These developing countries, in possession of rich natural resources, arehighly complementary to China’s economic growth. Due to the ties and historical backgroundin culture, language and networking, Macao has maintained traditional and far-reaching liaisonswith PSCs. In China’s history of foreign trade exchange, Macao has played a vital role betweenChina and PSCs for decades, which has in turn laid a solid foundation for its mission as a China-Portugal service platform in the new age.

To better utilise such unique strengths, theChina and Portuguese Speaking CountriesCo-operation and Development Fund, jointlydeveloped by Mainland China, Macao andPSCs and initiated by the Central Governmentwill soon be operational. It aims to work in linewith China’s national development strategyof “going global”, supporting Mainland andMacao enterprises to fully utilise Mainland andoverseas market and resources, actively explorebusiness opportunities through differentformats including external direct investment,project contracting, and labour co-operation,to be involved in international businesscollaboration, in order to achieve mutualbenefits, as well as encouraging industrieswhich can meet external market demands toseek further development overseas. It alsoencourages PSC enterprises to invest in theMainland and Macao.

Following the strengthening of Macao’srole as a service platform, mutual investmentand trade volume between China and PSCshave been increasing gradually every year. In2002, the total trade volume between Chinaand PSCs amounted to US$5.58 billion, whilein 2011; trade volume of bilateral import andexport commodities has already exceededUS$100 billion to reach US$117.23 billion. The figure reached US$75.913 billion withinthe first seven months this year. China hasbecome US’s second largest trading partner,after Brazil, bilateral investment betweenChina and PSCs has also grown rapidly. Asof the end of 2009, PSCs had set up over 700enterprises in China, with an accumulatedinvestment of over US$500million, whileChina’s accumulated investment in PSCs hasalso exceeded US$1 billion.

The Portuguese-speaking countries’ Pavilion has been set up annually in MIF since 2005

PRACTICAL MEASURES IN DEVELOPING A SERVICE PLATFORM AND ACHIEVED FRUITFUL OUTCOMES

Following a series of practical measures in its development as a service platform, Macao’srole has received wide recognition. The PSCs have acknowledged its function as a platform andconducted business negotiation and co-operation through Macao.

The Entrepreneurs Meeting for Commercial and Economic Co-operation between China andPortuguese Speaking Countries, a major business matching conference under the co-operationframework between the governments of China and PSCs, has been held in Angola, Brazil, CapeVerde, Mozambique and Portugal respectively for eight years. Following the signing of TradePromotion Organisations/ Business Associations Co-operation Agreement between IPIM andtrade promotion organisations (TPOs) in the Mainland and PSCs in 2003, IPIM has been workingwith Mainland TPOs and trade and economic departments and organised Macao and Mainlandtrade and business delegations to attend the Meeting in previous years, as a means to supportMainland and local industries to go global and seek business opportunities, open up new channelsof co-operation which has achieved prominent results.

To further enhance its role as a service platform, IPIM’s Macao Ideas set up a “MI PALOPstyle” exhibition area in May last year. The Macao and Portuguese-speaking CountriesCommodities Display Centre set up by Macao Importers and Exporters Association opened inJiangmen, Guangdong Provice in April this year. It serves as a platform to assist Macao and PSCsproducers to tap the Mainland market and more importantly, help to promote Macao’s moderateeconomic diversification and sustainable development get off to a good start.

In recent years, the convention and exhibition industry of Macao and the Mainland has beengrowing rapidly. Mainland and PSCs enterprises are constantly being invited to participate inMacao’s major trade and economic exhibitions and some may even set up PSCs pavilions andassist their enterprises to make use of the Macao service platform in exploring the China market.

Based on a common official language and legal system, as well as strong ties established overthe years, Macao provides a convenient yet favourable business environment for PSC enterprisesto start their business in the city. Currently, a number of enterprises have set up factories in Macaoand enjoy the zero tariff preferential treatment under CEPA in marketing their commodities onthe Mainland market, and further strengthening Macao’s role as an important service platform.

Looking to the future, Macao’s role as a service platform will continue to expand bringingexcellent prospects.

Important Notice:

All information is for reference only. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information, IPIM will not be eld responsible or be liable for failing to guarantee the accuracy of any information provided, nor for any damage caused by naccurate information or omissions.