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Lobbyists remind Lisbon of the benefits of Chinese investment

Remarks by the head of the Portugal-China Parliamentary Friendship Group come in the wake of Lisbon’s effective ban on Huawei.

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Remarks by the head of the Portugal-China Parliamentary Friendship Group come in the wake of Lisbon’s effective ban on Huawei.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

A parliamentary lobby group has highlighted the importance of business ties between Lisbon and Beijing in the wake of tensions stemming from the exclusion of Chinese companies from Portugal’s 5G network.

Fernando Ferreira, chairman of the Portugal-China Parliamentary Friendship Group, reminded business leaders at a lunch gathering in Lisbon that China was the fifth-largest source of foreign direct investment in Portugal, with investments reaching approximately US$12.19 billion by the end of 2022. 

China’s ambassador to Portugal, Zhao Bentang, attended the meeting and told the Xinhua news agency that “Portuguese people prioritise the quality of investments rather than their source,” and that “if we do consider the source, we believe that choosing Chinese investments is wise because the Chinese prioritise the outcome of investments and actively set investment goals.”

[See more: Portugal’s prime minister stresses stability when it comes to relations with China]

The remarks come in the wake of Lisbon’s decision to ban, on security grounds, telecommunications operators from using equipment supplied by companies outside the EU, or from states that don’t belong to NATO or the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. 

The move excludes major Chinese companies, such as Huawei, from the market and was criticised by Beijing, which appealed to the Portuguese government not to go about “building walls and barriers” and “breaking ties.”

Ferreira noted that half of the Portuguese population lived with monthly incomes of less than US$1,100 and that a way to improve this situation was through foreign investment.

 

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