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China, Portuguese-speaking countries forum ends with trade commitment (10/14/03)

The two-day Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, the first of its kind, ended on Oct.14 in the Macao Special Administrative Region.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce, An Min, said  the Action Plan for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries will set the guideline for promoting the facilitated bilateral trade in the future.

The forum was sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and attended by ministerial-level officials from seven Portuguese-speaking countries, namely, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and East Timor.

The two sides agreed to continue to open up wider for trade; actively expand and protect mutual investment, strengthen cooperation in agriculture, fishing, engineering, animal husbandry as well as information and technical exchanges; step up inter-governmental coordination and set up a permanent forum office to oversee the implementation of member countries' commitment.

The ministers from the seven countries expressed hope for a sound implementation of the action plan in 2006, when they were scheduled to meet at the second ministerial-level meeting of the forum.

Jose Luis Arnaut, minister assistant to Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel said the forum enabled various parties to continue their cooperation on the existing basis of bilateral trade with China. Strengthening the relations with China is an important part of the forum-related work.

Victorino Domingos Hossi, Angolan commerce minister, said the forum offers China and Portuguese-speaking countries a convenient means and channel for their economic and trade cooperation. The action plan signed at the forum created a new room for development on the basis of mutual benefits.

The Chinese commerce minister told the participants that the Chinese Central Government and the Macao SAR government have been closely working on the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), which will soon come out to intimate trade ties between China's mainland and Macao.

The trade pact would be conducive to rendering Macao's role as a platform serving for China's foreign trade with the world, especially Portuguese-speaking countries, he added.


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