A Macau economic delegation organised by the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) recently participated in the ‘Exchange Meeting Between Sao Paulo and Macau Businessman’ organised by the Sao Paulo Commerce Chamber, according to a dispatch by IPIM. More than 60 businessman from Macau and Brazil sought to improve the economic and commercial co-operation between China, Brazil and Portuguese-speaking countries and reiterate the importance of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Forum Macao), while local businessman shared their business experiences and professional acumen. During the exchange session IPIM proceeded to register Brazilian businessman on its online platform, with Brazilian businessman Ezquias Sodre saying he “had a strong interest in the Chinese market, and hoped to find business partners through the platform,” according to Forum Macao. Also, Macau businessman Deng Haiqiang, Managing Director of Love of Crystal, together with the President of the Association for the Promotion of South America and Portuguese-Speaking Countries, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Brazil’s Curvelo Municipal Government on business worth US$10 million, according to Forum Macao. Haiqiang stated he had already signed a US$4 million co-operation mining agreement with the city in 2012 with IPIM’s support, with this year’s deal expanding co-operation to the import and export of goods including food produce, electronic appliances, furniture and ceramics. Macau’s economic mission also attended Sao Paulo’s ‘Feira APAS 2016’, an international trade fair for the supermarket sector organised by the Paulista Association of Supermarkets, from 2nd to 5th May, and visited the Portuguese bank Caixa Geral de Depositos branch, which co-operates with Macau’s branch of Bank of China and Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) for financial assistance and co-operation between Mainland China, Macau and Brazil. An important partner In the event presentation session IPIM President Jackson Chang stated that the Brazilian economy is the best positioned in South America, and the territory’s most important Portuguese-speaking country trade partner. Macau and Brazil trade has reached MOP323 million (US$ 40,47 million) with March trade reaching MOP29.7 million, according to data from the Statistics and Census Services (DSEC) in 2015, while trade in merchandise between China and Portuguese-speaking countries reached US$16,727 billion in the period spanning January to March 2016 representing a 23.03 per cent decline year-on-year, according to Forum Macao quoting data from China Customs. Chang invited the businessman present to attend Forum Macao’s Ministerial Conference in November, and stated that Macau was already included in the global strategic plan in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, with IPIM planning to create a Department for the Economic and Commercial Promotion of Portuguese-speaking Markets per Forum Macau, according to IPIM. In the event the vice-president of the Sao Paulo Commerce Chamber, Roberto Ticoulat, presented China as Brazil’s most important trading partner and announced that a representative office was already established in Macau, Forum Macao said. He then reiterated how Brazil had many business opportunities awaiting Mainland China and Macau businessman, in sectors such as food and aviation. Brazilian companies are increasingly eyeing China as a growing market for premium food products and since China’s ban on beef imports from Brazil was lifted last year China has become the “leading buyer” for Brazilian beef, according to Brazil’s Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, known as Apex-Brasil.