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Digital field seen vital to Portuguese business ties

By LIU YIFAN in Macao | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-24 09:06
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Photo shows a view of Nansha Port in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province. [Photo provided to]

China and Portuguese-speaking countries and regions will explore more growth opportunities in fields like the green economy and digital transformation of industries and organizations through enhanced cooperation, China's commerce officials said on Tuesday.

They made the remarks at the Conference of Entrepreneurs, a supporting event of the sixth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao).

Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, and Timor-Leste joined the forum.

With a population of more than 200 million and spanning four continents, Portuguese-speaking countries have been presenting a bright future for cooperation.

According to official figures, total trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries exceeded $220 billion last year, marking a twenty-fold growth since 2003.

Delivering her opening speech, China's Vice-Minister of Commerce Guo Tingting said the country is willing to cooperate with Portuguese-speaking countries to embark on the path of high-quality development with emphasis on ecological and green development, contributing to the clean energy sector and working toward building a sustainable future.

Guo said China is committed to promoting exchanges in areas like marine renewable energy, marine resource conservation and sustainable utilization.

Describing digitalization as a crucial force in restructuring global resources and reshaping the global economic landscape, Guo said the country is also willing to strengthen collaboration with Portuguese-speaking countries in e-commerce and jointly promote the digital development of trade and investment.

Guo said China will actively support the participation of enterprises from Portuguese-speaking countries in major exhibitions and promote important economic and trade promotion activities.

Efforts will be made to continuously enhance the scale and quality of trade, strengthen industrial connectivity and promote the building of economic and trade cooperation zones.

Themed "Promoting the New Trends of Digital Transformation and Sharing the New Opportunities Presented by Green Development", the Conference of Entrepreneurs also featured on-site arrangements, including two themed seminars and business matchmaking sessions. Representatives from China and all nine countries where Portuguese is an official language attended the conference.

Zhang Shaogang, vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said digital transformation and the green economy will be key areas of economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries in the next phase.

He said China is willing to share its experience in the development of the digital economy with Portuguese-speaking countries and promote the deep integration of digital technologies like big data and artificial intelligence with the real economy.

The country will also strengthen the exchange of technology and experience to grow the green economy, which involves electric vehicles and renewable energy.

Zhang said that businesses from Portuguese-speaking countries should seize the emerging opportunities brought by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone.

Lei Wai-nong, Macao Special Administrative Region's secretary for economy and finance, said the SAR's economic diversification plan will benefit companies from the country and Portuguese-speaking countries.

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