High-level Forum on “40 Years of Cooperation between Portugal and China”Held atUniversity of Lisbon

[Source]    Confucius Institute at University of Lisbon,Portugal [Time]    2019-06-05 11:59:59 
 

From May 21st to 22nd, local time, the high-level forum on “40 Years of Cooperation between Portugal and China: Common Goals and Ideals” was held at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, as a part of a series of activities celebratingthe 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Portugal and China, as well as the 20th anniversary of the handover of Macau to China. This high-level forum was jointly organized by the University of Lisbon,the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, the Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce of China,andInstitute of European Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and received special authorization and strong support from Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa,President of the Portuguese Republic.

More than 40 experts, scholars and government officials from Chinese and Portuguese governments, research institutes and international organizations such as the United Nations were invited to attend the forum and delivered speeches.The guests conducted in-depth discussions oneight topics,including“From the Diplomatic Relationship Building to the ComprehensiveStrategic Partnership”, “The Role of Macau in the Greater Bay Area and the Cooperationbetween China and Portugal”, “People to People Exchange”, “Cooperation in Education and Science”, “Prospects for Common Growth: The Silk Road Economic Belt andthe 21st Century Maritime Silk Road”, “ Trade Investment and Finance Cooperation”, “Portuguese Companies in China – Evolution, Growthand Opportunities” , and “Towards a Sustainable Development: Innovation andEntrepreneurship between China and Portugal”.The speakers’innovative ideas and unique perspectives received enthusiastic response from nearly 300 audiences.

At the opening ceremony, Freitas Ferraz, Ambassador of Diplomatic Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Portugal, expressed in his speech that on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Portugal and China, and the 20th anniversary of the handover of Macau to China,and in the context of signingthe agreement on the Belt and RoadInitiative, economic and trade relations between Portugal and Chinawill enter a new historical stage.Great achievements have been made in exchange and cooperationin the past 40 years. He also said that Portugal and China can carry out more cooperation in the future in such fields as scientific research and innovation, as well as renewable energy, artificial intelligence, environmental protection and oceanography, which are of mutual interest. He looked forward to a higher level economic and trade activities between Portugal and China.


Freitas Ferrazdeliveringa speech

Qu Weixi, Deputy President of Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, by quoting the Chinese saying“when one becomes forty, he will no longer suffer from perplexity”, expressed that at present, China-Portugal relations have lasted for 40 years. Both Portugal and China should seize the opportunity, give full play to the advantages of the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, deepen cooperation in such fields as energy,finance,tourism and infrastructure construction, jointly safeguard multilateralism, and promote free trade so as to inject new impetus into China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.


Qu Weixideliveringa speech

Tian Dewen, Deputy Director General of Institute of European Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciencessaid that the China-Portugal comprehensive strategic cooperation is a very successful case in China-EU relations. Looking into the future, as long as China and Portugalcontinue to move along the strategic direction of international pragmatic cooperation and development, thecooperationbetween China and Portugalwill make even greater achievements.


Tian Dewengivinga speech

João Barreiros, Vice President of the University of Lisbon,expressed his appreciation that the University of Lisbon can cooperate with so many organizations to hold thehigh-level forum to provide an important platform for the development of China-Portugal cooperation.

During the sub-forum themed on “From the Diplomatic Relationship Building to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”Paulo Portas, former Vice-Prime Minister of Portugal, stated that the establishment of diplomatic relations between Portugal and China 40 years ago showed that both Portugal and China have a strategic vision of globalization. And it is very important to eliminate geographical and ideological disparities in the process of globalization.

Looking back on the past 40 years, Luís Castro Henriques, President of AICEP, Portugal, said that the total volume of global trade has increased tenfold. And China is the biggest contributor to the development of the world economy. Portugal should seize the opportunity of trade cooperation with China.


Luís Castro Henriques giving a speech

During the discussion of the important position of Macau, Rui Martins, Vice-Rector of the University of Macau, stressed Macau’s unique position in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. He said that Macau has contributed to the education and training of Portuguese language.

Paulo Agostinho, Lusa-Editor of Lusophone Affairs in Africa,sharedtheexperience and insights of Lusophone, Portugal’s biggest transnationalmedia,on eliminating stereotypes and misunderstandings among nations and races in people-to-people exchange. He held that only by providing the public with comprehensive, meticulous and objective news, can the media help eliminate prejudice and achieve communication among countries.

When talking about cultural exchanges between China and Portugal, the participating experts have repeatedly emphasized the importance of language. They all agreed that learning the language of each other is the first step in cultural exchange, andthe depth and breadth of cultural exchange also require language support.

Then the focus of the forumwas turned to the cooperation under the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and China-Portugaltrade and economic cooperation. Ana Paula Vitorino, Minister of the Sea, Portugal, gave a keynote speech. She believed that the Belt and RoadInitiative is an excellent opportunity to boost a new round of prosperity and cooperation in international relations, which will certainly deepen people-to-people exchange and trade, andstrengthen the sustainable development of the world.


Ana Paula Vitorino giving a keynote speech

During the sub-forum themed on “Prospects for Common Growth: The Silk Road Economic Belt andthe 21st Century Maritime Silk Road”, Wu Guoqi, Associate Vice-President of the Corporate Services Department of the International Fund of Agriculture Development, introduced multilateral financial organizations’ policies of providing financing support to the Belt and Road Initiative and cooperation on the construction of green Belt and Road. He believed that large-scale infrastructure projects built in the countries along the Belt and Road will put huge impetus to the economic development of these countries.


Wu Guoqi giving a speech

During the sub-forum themed on “Towards a Sustainable Development: Innovation andEntrepreneurship between China and Portugal”, speakers had a heated discussion in the industry-university-research cooperation and the constructionof open innovation platform. Luís Miguel Silveira, Vice-President of IST Técnico Lisboa, held that strengthening university-enterprise cooperation requires both sides to find application-oriented technology projects that not only motivate students but also mobilize enterprises.

Cai Run, Chinese Ambassador to Portugalexpressed in the closing ceremony of the forum that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Portugal in February 1979, the relations between China and Portugal have achieved healthy and stable development. In 1999, the two countries properly resolved the question of Macao through friendly consultations. In 2005, China and Portugal established a comprehensive strategic partnership, which enabled the China-Portugal relations to embark on a fast developmentlane. In December last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a successful visit to Portugal and achieved fruitful results. Not long ago, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of the Portuguese Republic paid a state visit to China. At present, China-Portugal relations are at their best in history. Based onthe memorandum on cooperationunder theBelt and Road Initiativesigned by China and Portugal, the two countries have great potential for cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, science and technology, education and humanities. He believed that in the next 40 years, China-Portugal cooperation will have much to offer and will bring more benefits to the two peoples.