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Premier vows to cement ties with Portuguese-speaking countries

Updated: Oct 11,2016 11:32 AM     Xinhua

MACAO — Premier Li Keqiang said on Oct 11 that China is willing to build more substantial economic and trade ties and develop long-term stable and sound partnership with Portuguese-speaking countries (PSCs).

China and PSCs account for 17 percent of the global economy and 22 percent of the world population, and their common interests and need of mutual support are increasing, said Premier Li at the opening of the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and PSCs.

The Belt and Road Initiative highly accords with the development plans of many PSCs, Premier Li said in a keynote speech, noting that both China and PSCs are located along the major international shipping routes.

Bilateral relations between China and PSCs are at the best period in history, said Premier Li, pointing to the fact that trade between the two sides amounted to almost $100 billion last year.

Companies from PSCs have set up nearly 1,000 enterprises in China. China’s outstanding investment in PSCs amounts to almost $50 billion, and China’s contracted projects in PSCs are valued more than $90 billion.

Premier Li said both sides should strengthen industrial cooperation. During the forum, memorandums on industrial cooperation will be signed, the Premier said.

China is willing to make full use of the financing platforms such as the Silk Road Fund and the China-PSCs Cooperation and Development Fund to carry out a group of important projects as soon as possible, Premier Li said.

Both sides should also enhance personnel exchanges, said the Premier, adding that China plans to grant more members of the forum Approved Destinations Status for outbound Chinese tourist groups.

Premier Li called on both sides to make good use of Macao as a service platform for strengthening cooperation in various fields.

The Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and PSCs was launched in Macao in 2003, with the participation of seven PSCs, namely Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Timor-Leste.