Macau (MNA) – The Guinea Bissau Delegate for the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Forum Macao), Malam Becker Camara, told Macau News Agency (MNA) that the new Guinea Bissau Honorary Consul in Macau was a recommended appointee by the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry to the Guinea-Bissau Foreigns Affairs Ministry.
A previous report indicated that former legislator and businessman, Chan Meng Kam, will replace local businessman John Lo Seng Chung as the new Honorary Consul for Guinea-Bissau in Macau.
According to a business card provided by Mr. Chan, the new consul office is located at the Golden Dragon Center on Avenida Xian Xiang Hai at NAPE, with Mr. Camara indicating the consul office would officially start operating on September 24.
“In Macau everybody knows Mr. Chan, he was a legislator, member of the Executive Council, businessman […] These are all aspects that the Guinea-Bissau government pondered when picking a new Consul,” Mr. Camara told MNA.
According to the Delegate, the choice has to be understood under the light of the African country’s consular policy for the region, with Guinea Bissau having had a Consul General Office in Hong Kong – also responsible for Macau – in the 1990’s, which was latter replaced by an Honorary Consul Office.
“In terms of Guinea’s intention to improve its image and its policy for attracting investment, the country chooses to appoint the most dynamic and influential people in the local society for the position,” Mr. Camara told MNA.
The Director-General of the Excelente International Group Ltd., John Lo had occupied the Guinea Bissau diplomatic position in Macau since 2000.
Mr. Lo was involved in a project to build a US$37.5 million (MOP303.1 million) four-star hotel on the main avenue of the capital of Guinea-Bissau, with construction to have started in 2015 but with the project not coming to fruition.
“Guinea-Bissau needs a new image. Mr. Lo did his job and I saw a letter from the Guinea government showing their satisfaction and congratulating him for his work, but any of us can’t stay [in the same position] forever,” Mr. Camara indicated.
With Consul appointments being managed by the Guinea-Bissau Foreigns Affairs Ministry, Mr. Camara didn’t indicate there was a specific reason for putting an end to Mr. Lo’s term.
“The Guinea-Bissau government has great expectations for the new consul and we hope he can attract investment to Guinea-Bissau […] We have a large list of priority sectors for investment, which was delivered to the Chinese central government […] there is also a set of investments in which Chinese and Macau businessman could take part,” he added.
The Forum Macao delegate told MNA that the African country is looking to develop its tourism, eco-tourism, agriculture and mining industries, but couldn’t say if Mr. Cham himself was interested in investing in any sector of Guinea-Bissau’s economy.
MNA sent several inquiries and interview requests to Mr. Chan’s office, asking information on the new Consul’s goals and plans for his tenure, but not response was provided.
Chan Meng Kam is the head of Golden Dragon Group – a group with business ranging from hotel, gaming and real estate to supermarkets home appliances – and is the President of the Huan Yu Group Holding Company Limited and of Jinlong Investment & Development Co., Ltd.
He has also served as a Macau legislator between 2005 and 2017 and is a Member of the Executive Council of the Macao SAR Government and of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.