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Macao a Link Between China, Portuguese-speaking Countries

A key mission that Macao should serve in the cynosural pan-PRD (Pearl River Delta) cooperation and development framework should be strengthening multi-layer links between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, said a senior trade official from the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Sunday.

Lee Peng-hong, president of Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, made the above remarks on the sideline of the Second Pan-PRD Regional Cooperation and Development Forum scheduled to start Monday in Chengdu City of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Defining Macao as a "small and free economic entity", Lee voiced confidence in his region's 400-years-strong connections with eight Portuguese-speaking countries, and said Macao will make the best use of the pan-PRD framework to help more small and middle-sized Chinese enterprises tap the 200-million-people Portuguese-speaking market.

"Macao SAR is very likely to create a win-win situation while connecting China with the Portuguese-speaking countries particularly as an integral part of the pan-PRD arrangement encompassing nine mainland provinces and the two SARs," said Lee while briefing media on Macao's participation in the upcoming four-day pan-PRD event.

While continuing to take tourism and service industries as bulk of its economy, Macao is ambitious to promote Chinese enterprises in varied Portuguese-speaking countries and glad to accommodate an increasing number of mainland provinces seeking business opportunities in Macao and Portuguese-speaking countries, said Lee.
According to the trade official, the Macao SAR Government has already teamed up with the central government organizing a string of promotional activities, seminars and forums to facilitate closer trade links between China and the eight Portuguese-speaking countries.

Trade ministers from China and Portuguese-speaking countries gathered, for the first time, in Macao to discuss better ways to strengthen links between each other on a special conference jointly organized by the Ministry of Commerce and the Macao SAR Government in 2003. The conference has located a long-standing secretariat in Macao, employing staff from all relevant countries.

The second gathering of the ministerial-level conference will convene in Macao next year, widely expected to further improve trade and business links between China and Portuguese-speaking countries in a more concrete way, said Lee.

The Macao official also highlighted a likely Chinese penetration into markets such as the European Union and South America by introducing more Chinese enterprises to countries like Portugal and Brazil.

The pan-PRD arrangement was first launched last year, seeking closer economic ties between Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces in south China's Pearl-River region as well as Hong Kong and Macao SARs.

(Xinhua News Agency July 25, 2005)

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