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Li Keqiang Attends Opening Ceremony of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries and Delivers a Keynote Speech

On the morning of October 11, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang attended in Macao the opening ceremony of the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries and delivered a keynote speech. Prime Minister Jose Ulisses Correia e Silva of Cape Verde, Prime Minister Baciro Dja of Guinea Bissau, Prime Minister Carlos do Rosario of Mozambique, Prime Minister António Costa of Portugal and governmental representatives from other countries including Angola, Brazil and East Timor were present at the meeting and made speeches.

Li Keqiang said that with language and culture as the bond, business cooperation as the theme and common development as the objective, the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries has sought to fully leverage the unique strengths of Macao and played an important role in further strengthening the links between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. It will continue to do so in the future. Both sides have respective strengths and are located at main international shipping lanes. China's "Belt and Road" initiative is highly compatible with the development plans of many Portuguese-speaking countries. China is ready to work with Portuguese-speaking countries to consolidate business relations and set a good example of friendship and cooperation among countries with different social systems and cultural backgrounds and at different development stages.

Li Keqiang pointed out that we should enhance political mutual trust. In a spirit of mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation, China and Portuguese-speaking countries should further intensify high-level exchanges and foster a sound, stable and forward-looking partnership. We should promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. China is ready to join hands with Portuguese-speaking countries to expand mutual market openness, boost cooperation in customs, inspection and quarantine as well as other areas, strengthen protection on intellectual property rights and foster an enabling trade and investment climate. We should enlarge production capacity cooperation for advantage complementarity, mutual benefit and win-win results. China is ready to leverage the Silk Road Fund, the cooperation and development fund for China and Portuguese-speaking countries and other financing platforms to get major cooperation projects started as soon as possible in order to make bilateral and trilateral cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries blossom and yield results. We should reinforce people-to-people and cultural exchanges in various fields and create new cooperation highlights. We should boost Macao's role in cooperation. The Chinese government will give Macao every support in playing its role as a focal point in the "Belt and Road" initiative, facilitate its efforts to set up service platforms for business cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries as soon as possible and build well-functioning convention center for business cooperation, service center for small and medium-sized enterprises and goods distribution center for Portuguese-speaking countries.

Li Keqiang noted that attaching importance to its friendship with Portuguese-speaking countries, China is willing to offer help and assistance to Portuguese-speaking countries in Asia and Africa within its capacity. He also announced 18 specific measures to deepen cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries of the forum in the next 3 years, covering multiple fields including economy, trade, investment, economic technology, medical care and health, production capacity cooperation, infrastructure construction, sustainable development, culture and education.

Li Keqiang stressed that under the circumstances of the weak recovery of the world economy in recent years and growing impact of deep-seated imbalances within China, the Chinese economy has been operating within a reasonable range. It remains one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world and contributes over 25 percent to world economic growth. Coming to the third quarter, the Chinese economy goes better than expected. With big potential, solid advantages and broad maneuvering room, the Chinese economy is well prepared to achieve medium-high growth rates and advance to medium-high development levels. China will firmly adhere to the mutually beneficial and win-win strategy of opening up, and the door of opening up will open wider. China is devoted to cultivating new drivers of growth and promoting transformation and upgrading of its economy, which is an opportunity for the world and will certainly bring huge business opportunities to enterprises of all countries, including Portuguese-speaking countries. China is willing to, together with Portuguese-speaking countries, pool strengths and wisdom together, ride the waves and steer forward the ship of amity and cooperation.

Present leaders of Portuguese-speaking countries welcomed the cooperation measures announced by Li Keqiang on behalf of the Chinese government. They noted that Portuguese-speaking countries and China are sincere friends and trustworthy cooperation partners to each other. The forum, as the specific embodiment of China's peaceful diplomacy and strategy of opening up, has achieved remarkable outcomes since its establishment and become an important platform for mutually beneficial cooperation between Portuguese-speaking countries and China with broad development prospect. Measures including promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, strengthening production capacity cooperation and boosting third-party cooperation put forward at the forum, conforming to development strategies of all nations, are not only conducive to encouraging companies of all countries to participate in investment cooperation and jointly cope with current world economic challenges, but also will certainly inject robust impetus to the development of bilateral relations as well as regional economic growth. Under the new circumstances, highly valuing and supporting the forum in playing a bigger role, Portuguese-speaking countries are willing to, in the spirit of joint consultation and cooperation, joint construction of the platform and shared development, give play to their own resource and complementary advantages, explore economic and trade cooperation potential with China, extend people-to-people and cultural exchanges and well implement action plans of the forum, so as to push for bigger development of relations and relevant cooperation between Portuguese-speaking countries and China.

Prior to the opening ceremony, Li Keqiang and attending leaders of Portuguese-speaking countries jointly attended the launching ceremony of the service platform complex for commercial cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries and unveiled the plaque of the platform complex.

Yang Jing and He Houhua attended above events.

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