Ready to build

The second day of the International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum (IIICF) saw 14 cooperation agreements for infrastructure projects between companies from Mainland China, Macau and foreign countries, Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) President, Jackson Chang stated at the international forum’s last day press conference at The Venetian Macao. This is the fifth time the IIICF has taken place in Macau, an international forum with the theme of investment in and construction of infrastructure, founded in 2010 by CHINCA (China International Contractors Association) with the approval of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, according to IPIM. The forum attracted more than 8,000 delegates from nearly 100 countries and regions, including about 150 ministerial officials and nine province representatives from the Greater Pearl River Delta zone, Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac stated previously. This year’s edition saw the participation of 600 institutions from the construction, developer, equipment, services and consulting sectors, according to IPIM, as well as 50 politicians from more than 30 countries and regions, and more than 20 international financial institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank, Bank of China, and the Asian Development Bank, according to the President of the China International Constructors Association, Fang Qiunchen. The Portuguese connection On the last day of the event, a seminar for financing and cooperation for productive capacity between China and Portuguese-speaking countries was held, with the IPIM President stating that one of the forum’s objectives was to create connections between companies from Macau, Mainland China and Portuguese-speaking countries. One of the participating local companies was Chalestrong Engineering Technology and Consulting Limited, the only distributor of Chinese state group Beijing New Building Material Co., Ltd ,(BNBM) selling building materials in the markets of Africa, East Timor and Macau. “This is the fourth time we have come to the forum since 2011. It’s a good platform to reach Portuguese-speaking countries, which are the focus of our company, such as Mozambique and East Timor, since through the forum we meet many delegations and businessman to network with. I believe Macau needs construction know-how from other countries, but as a developed city the way we do construction, we can share our methods with developing countries as a way to create investment opportunities,” the Chalestrong Vice-president, Afonso Chan, told Business Daily. Chalestrong was one of the companies who signed business deals during the event, for a project in Mozambique, with Afonso Chan telling Business Daily that if the local Macau government is really focused on making the territory a platform for business between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, it should motivate young talent in Macau to pursue knowledge in Portuguese language as a way towards achieving this. Resurrecting the Silk Road “The MSAR gives great importance to the international forum, as a way to expand Macau’s influence in infrastructure cooperation at an international level,” Jackson Chang stated at the press conference, underlining the role of the forum as a way to promote the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (‘One Belt, One Road’), by providing cooperation between industrial and financial sectors, while helping Mainland Chinese companies to enter international and Portuguese-speaking countries. The ‘One Belt, One Road’ is a development strategy initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2013, involving the New Silk Road Economic belt that will link China with Europe and a Maritime Silk Road that connects China with Southeast Asian countries, Africa and Europe, as Business Daily reported previously. “This is rare opportunity to find contractors for different areas, from road to airport construction fields, and we have never seen a forum with this amount of stakeholders and financiers,” Secretary of Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of Kenya stated at the press conference.