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Premier Li announces 18 new measures to boost development of Forum Macao


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Tuesday, 11 October 2016 00:00

Source : Office of the Chief Executive

Premier of the State Council, Li Keqiang, today highlighted Macao’s bridging role, as he announced 18 new measures to support the development of Forum Macao.

Premier Li made the announcement at the opening of the 5th Ministerial Conference of Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao), known as Forum Macao.

Macao’s bridging role is its “lifeblood”, and Forum Macao offers an intangible but nonetheless effective bridge that strengthens links between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, Premier Li said in his keynote speech.

Premier Li said Macao would further enhance its position as a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries (known as the “Platform” policy) thanks to its unique advantages in language, geographic location, sound infrastructure, and in its business environment.

The Central Government would give full support to Macao’s endeavours in relation to the “Platform” policy, and subsequently, its “Three Centres” for cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, namely: a convention and exhibition centre for economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries; a business and trade service centre for the small- and medium-sized enterprises in China and Portuguese-speaking countries; and a distribution centre for Portuguese-speaking countries’ goods.

Premier Li said he hoped the launch of construction for a complex to support trade and economic cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries – comprising a multifunctional facility covering trade cooperation and business services among other uses – would be a new landmark in the relationship between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.

The Premier said he noted the member countries of Forum Macao took part in the International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum, and the Ministerial Meeting on Infrastructure between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, two events that would hence be held in Macao annually.

In the coming three years, the Central Government would make further efforts to support the development of Forum Macao. In this regard, Premier Li announced 18 new measures, including five measures to enhance Macao’s “Platform” functions.

The new measures include:

  • Providing Asian and African Portuguese-speaking countries participating in Forum Macao with grants in aggregate worth 2 billion RMB to support these countries in livelihood projects such as agricultural development, trade and investment facilitation, malaria prevention and treatment and research on traditional medicines;
  • Providing Asian and African Portuguese-speaking countries participating in Forum Macao with concessional loans in aggregate worth no less than 2 billion RMB, in order to promote industry connections and capacity cooperation with these countries, and to further strengthen cooperation in infrastructure development;
  • Writing off an aggregate of 500 million RMB in due interest-free loans made to Asian and African Portuguese-speaking countries participating in Forum Macao;
  • Deploying 200-strong medical teams to Asian and African Portuguese-speaking countries participating in Forum Macao, as well as 2,500 Chinese Government scholarships per year to candidates from Portuguese-speaking countries participating in Forum Macao;
  • Encouraging companies to establish or upgrade economic and trade cooperation zones in Portuguese-speaking countries;
  • Helping Asian and African Portuguese-speaking countries participating in Forum Macao to develop facilities such as marine meteorological observatories to respond to marine disasters and climatic challenges;
  • Supporting the Macao SAR to become a financial services platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, and to establish in Macao: the Association of Enterprise Directors of China and Portuguese-speaking Countries; the Center for Cultural Exchanges between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries; the Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries; and a Chinese-Portuguese bilingual talent training base.

In his keynote speech, the Premier underlined the fact that the trade volume between China and Portuguese-speaking countries reached nearly 100 billion U.S. dollars last year, with China becoming one of the most important trading partners of Portuguese-speaking countries.

With the help of Forum Macao, Premier Li said, China and Portuguese-speaking countries had increased exchanges on multiple fronts. He added that China was willing to work together with these countries to establish even stronger trade relations.

He said China and Portuguese-speaking countries also needed to deepen political trust in one another, promote trade and investment facilitation and enhance cultural exchanges.

According to the Premier, the total value of China’s imports is estimated to reach 8 trillion U.S. dollars in the coming five years, while its foreign investments would hit 720 billion U.S. dollars; and the number of outbound tourists from China would exceed 600 million. All these factors would bring enormous opportunities to businesses in Portuguese-speaking countries.

 


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