Macao – Chinese pivot to Portuguese speaking countries

Forum for Economic & Trace Cooperation between China and Portuguese speaking Countries

 

BEIJING (Sputnik) — On Monday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Macao to participate in the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries that is held on October 10-12.
Li announced the allocation of the aid to Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Timor-Leste at the opening ceremony of the conference, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The official added that Beijing could create a yuan clearing center for Portuguese-speaking countries in Macao, as well as the headquarters of a special fund aimed at cooperation and development between China and Portuguese-speaking countries from Africa and Asia. The Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries is held since 2003 to promote cooperation between the participants. The previous forum was held in 2013 and gathered together officials from eight countries, namely Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, China, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal and Timor-Leste.

Sources expect casino hub to eventually become a key center for yuan settlement for the Portuguese-speaking world

Li will attend a top-level conference alongside the prime minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, and leaders of developing Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa, South America and beyond in which China has invested big.

Sources have said the visit could see the announcement of plans for Macau to become a key centre for yuan settlement. Under such an arrangement, the financial sector in the former Portuguese enclave would become a clearing house for huge investment deals with countries like Angola, Brazil and Mozambique.

Some believe the importance Beijing is giving to this forum – the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation Between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries – is also intended as a message to Hong Kong about the benefits of cooperation amid ongoing political turmoil in the bigger special administrative region.


Official designation
Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) of the People’s Republic of China.

Geographic location
Macao is located on the southeast coast of China, to the west of the Pearl River Delta. Macao shares a border with Guangdong Province, and is located 60 kilometres from Hong Kong SAR and 145 kms from Guangdong’s provincial capital Guangzhou.

Currency
Macao Pataca (MOP)
The currency is indexed against the Hong Kong Dollar, at the following rate: HKD 1.00 = MOP 1.03.

Official languages
Chinese and Portuguese.

Local time
Local time is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Economy
The tertiary sector, including commerce, services and tourism, is the main pillar of Macao’s economy.

Area
The Macao SAR — including the Macao peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Coloane — has a land area of 30.3 square kms (as of March 2015).

Population
Data from 2014 estimated the population of Macao to be 624,000.

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