BRI, golden opportunity for Portuguese-speaking countries

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 25, 2019
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Marco Henriques, a pork dealer in Portugal, realized his dream of exporting pork to the largest meat market in the world last month.

When the first batch of Portuguese pork reached north China's Tianjin Municipality on March 22, Henriques, commercial and marketing director with AGP Meat, a major pork exporter in Portugal, felt that it was a milestone in the history of trade between the two countries.

"For years we had hoped to export pork to China. It could be the most significant change in Portuguese pig industry since the two countries established diplomatic relations 40 years ago," Henriques said.

He believes the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) further connected the maritime country and China together.

Since China proposed in 2013 the BRI, which refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a total of 126 countries and 29 international organizations including Portugal have signed cooperation documents with China on the initiative.

As an important hub connecting the Silk Road on the land and in the sea, Portugal has seen pragmatic cooperation with China in the fields of economy, trade, investment, energy and oceans, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples, said Chinese Ambassador to Portugal Cai Run.

"The pork trade cooperation is exact evidence of fruitful results achieved by the two countries under the BRI framework," Henriques said. "Increasingly more Portuguese companies are being well received in China. Hope our pork products can be more recognized as well."

Mozambique, another Portuguese-speaking country, will have President Filipe Nyusi as an important participant in the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held from April 25 to 27 in Beijing.

The coastal country in southeastern Africa has a cross-sea bridge built by a Chinese company in its capital Maputo, with a total length of 3km and a main span of 680 meters.

As a cooperative project between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, the bridge is an example of the infrastructure connectivity that is high on the agenda of the BRI, and the composite infrastructure framework is rapidly taking shape, according to an official report on BRI's progress, contributions and prospects.

In Brazil, a new 2,500-kilometer-long, 800kV ultra-high-voltage transmission project launched by China's largest power distributor State Grid in 2015 is about to be put into operation.

The line stretching from the deep Amazon basin to the southern economic centers will become an electricity super highway across Latin America, and it is a model of bilateral cooperation under the BRI, said Yang Guangliang, a Chinese manager of the project.

"The BRI is a very impressive and audacious initiative of China that makes clear the commitment of the government with the robust development of the country," Paulo Arnaez, an employee with COFCO International Brazil told Xinhua.

Working in the agribusiness sector of the company, Arnaez believes he is in one of the best positions in the market.

"The more China increases its growth rates, the more it will need to increase imports of food and other commodities, which will definitely benefit Brazil and other countries in the world," he said.

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