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English>>Foreign Affairs

Backgrounder: Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries

(Xinhua)    11:09, October 11, 2016

MACAO, Oct. 11 -- The Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries began here Tuesday.

The theme for this edition of the conference is: Working Toward Stronger China and Portuguese-speaking Countries Trade and Economic RelationsCombining Efforts, Jointly Building a Platform, Sharing Fruits of Development.

Inaugurated in 2003, the forum is sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce of China, hosted by Macao Special Administrative Region government and with the joint participation of seven Portuguese-speaking countries: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and East Timor.

The forum is a non-political international economic cooperation, aimed at strengthening economic relations and cooperation between China and the Portuguese- speaking countries to demonstrate Macao's importance as a platform between them and to promote the mutual benefits and development of each.

The ministerial conference is held here once every three years since 2003. During those meetings, participants approved Strategic Plans for Economic and Co-operation, identified a number of areas for co-operation, including trade, investment and entrepreneurship, agriculture, fisheries and livestock, education, tourism, finance, culture, health and etc.

Historical friendly relations as well as familiarity with the language, legal and trade system of in Portuguese countries make Macao a convenient platform for the trade flow between the Chinese Mainland and Portuguese speaking countries.

The Portuguese speaking countries, which spread around in five continents, with overall consumer markets of 0.2 billion people and advantageous geographical location in their respective area, have great potentials to cooperate with China, due to their respective comparative advantages.

The amount of bilateral trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries soared from 11 billion U.S. dollars in 2003 to 132.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2014.

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