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Passing down advice

As Sino-Luso trade continues to grow yearly, several Chinese businessmen with experience in investing in African Portuguese-speaking countries shared some advice in a Forum Macao meeting

The seminar was held yesterday by the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao) on the investment environment in Portuguese-speaking countries for Chinese companies and how to enhance Macau’s role in connecting these businesses.
The event saw several Chinese businessmen sharing their experiences in business in African Lusophone countries and providing advice for other businessmen interested in following the same path.
“A lot of time needs to be spent in discovering commerce opportunities, find the right incentive policies and what forms of financing can be used,” the General Manager of Taiwan based manufacturer Crown Machinery I/E Co. Ltd stated in the event.
“Many African countries are considered to be under-developed by the United Nations so a lot of banks will have obstacles in providing financing for projects in these countries,” he added.
For the General Manager of Beijing Jin Tan Ri Sheng Group, Zhou Ping, since language is a common obstacle, it is important for Chinese entrepreneurs to develop good relations with Chinese businessmen already established in the country where they’re planning to invest, in order to get sufficient and reliable information on the country.

Steadily growing
Trade value between Portuguese-speaking countries has steadily increased annually since 2002, going from US$6.05 billion (MOP48.62 billion) in that year to US$90.87 billion in 2016, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum Macao, Ding Tian, stated yesterday.
Sino-Luso business co-operation has also diversified from the traditional commerce trade and investment into new co-operation in finance, infrastructure, sea resources and health, with Macau playing an “irreplaceable role” in connecting parts.
In the first seven months of the year, Sino-Luso trade increased around 31.3 per cent yearly to reach US$67.61 billion, according to data provided by Forum Macao.
The event saw one of the first participations of the São Tomé and Príncipe delegation of Forum Macao, after the African country reinstated diplomatic relations with China.
“Sao Tome offers good investment opportunities in tourism, sea resources, agriculture, infrastructure,” the country’s Forum Macao delegate, Gualter Sousa Pontes de Vera Cruz, said.
Mr. Cruz also considered that although the country only has a population of 200,000 people, it was well located geographically in an area with 300 million consumers and US$22 million in gross domestic product, near African countries such as Cameroon and Gabon, and with airline connections with Portugal and Angola.