*By Therese Tu
Six years after the last Ministerial Conference, the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Forum Macao) will hold an Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting on April 10 via videoconference, the Forum’s Permanent Secretariat announced.
The last Ministerial Conference was held for the last time, with the attendance of Premier Li Keqiang and several Portuguese-speaking country ministers and delegates from China the SAR and the eight participating Portuguese-Speaking member countries.
The Forum’s Ministerial Conference, which is supposed to be held in Macau every three years was initially scheduled to be held in 2019, but was first delayed to 2020 so as to not overlap with the Chief executive elections and then postponed again due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the theme “A World without a Pandemic, A Common Development”, the meeting is set to include speeches from government officials of the member countries of the Forum Macau will be shown by videoconference.
Eight Portuguese-speaking countries will attend the 2022 online Forum Macao Ministerial Conference, the Permanent Secretariat announced , with ministers from Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor, to take part.
During the Meeting, the ministers responsible for the Forum Macao affairs from the member countries will deliver his speeches on the strengthening of exchanges in pandemic prevention between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, the joint promotion of economic recovery in the post-pandemic period, the Forum’s Permanent Secretariat added. A Joint Declaration is set to be adopted as a result of the meeting.
Although held online an official ceremony will still take place at the Forum Macao Complex near the Nam Vam Lake.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce, Shu Jueting announced today at a regular press conference that the theme of the ministerial conferences this year will be “jointly fight against the pandemic and seek common development”.
A joint statement and some other documents will be issued and signed after the meeting, with the holding of an inauguration ceremony of a Sino-Portuguese Epidemic Prevention Exchange Center, the spokesperson indicated.
Forum Macao was founded in 2003 by Mainland’s central government with the collaboration of the Macau SAR government, in coordination with the eight Portuguese-speaking countries in the organization.
Five ministerial conferences of the Forum Macao were held in the territory in October 2003, September 2006, November 2010, November 2013 and October 2016, during which Action Plans for Economic and Trade Cooperation was approved.
The forum is a multilateral, intergovernmental co-operation mechanism aimed at promoting economic and trade exchanges between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, by using Macau as a connecting platform between those places.
Each previous meeting approved a strategic plan for intergovernmental cooperation of economic and trade co-operation, in a number of areas, including trade, investment and entrepreneurship, production capacity, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and livestock, infrastructure, energy and natural resources, education and human resources, finance, development co-operation, tourism, transport and communication, culture, media, sports, health, maritime affairs, and co-operation among provinces and municipalities.