Striving for increasing two-way trade volume between China and Portuguese-speaking countries to 45- 50 billion U.S. dollars by 2009, the 2nd Ministerial Conference of the Forum on Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries closed Monday in Macao.
Member countries of the Forum, including China, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Timor-Leste, adopted the "Action Plan for Economic and Trade Cooperation" Sunday, which focuses their cooperation on trade and investment.
These countries, the Action Plan says, realizing the importance of investment in their economic and trade relations, agreed to take active measures to double bilateral investment in the next three years.
Addressing the conference, Hua Jianmin, Chinese state councillor and secretary general of the State Council, said that in the past three years, all cooperation programs approved by the 1st conference three years ago has been carried out smoothly with remarkable results through joint efforts of the forum member countries.
He said the cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries enjoys great potentials and has a broad prospect.
He also proposed that all member countries expand the scope of their economic and trade cooperation and further perfect the mechanism of the forum so that the cooperation can be deepened and achieve more and more results.
Both officials and entrepreneurs to the conference held that the Forum achieved great results in its history of three years.
Statistics showed that the total trade volume between China and Portuguese-speaking countries was 11 billion U.S. dollars when the Forum was initiated. But the figure is expected to increase to 33 billion dollars by the end of this year. And it will hopefully rise to 45-50 billion dollars by 2009, when the 3rd Ministerial Conference will be held.
All Forum member countries agreed to take active measures to reach this goal, the Action Plan says.
The countries also agreed, the Plan says, to establish an investment cooperation group under the coordination of the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum to promote mutual investment.
As the ministers in charge of economic and trade affairs from the member countries were drawing up the Action Plan at the conference, over 700 business people from these countries also gathered to exchange views and explore their cooperation opportunities in trade and investment, resulting in the signing of a number of cooperation agreements.
The Forum's 12-article Plan covers inter-government cooperation, trade, investment and cooperation in the fields of enterprises, agriculture and fishery, infrastructure construction, natural resources, human resources, finance, tourism, logistics, public health, science and technology, broadcasting and culture.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the conference Monday, Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said with the adoption of the Action Plan, the cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries has entered a new stage.