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Chinese companies ensnared by Portuguese bureaucracy, ambassador says

Despite red tape, bilateral trade flourishes, with Chinese investment in Portugal topping 10 billion euros.

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Despite red tape, bilateral trade flourishes, with Chinese investment in Portugal topping 10 billion euros.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:43 am

Both Chinese and Portuguese companies with Chinese capital are being held up by red tape in Portugal, China’s ambassador to Lisbon, Zhao Bentang, has said.

The ambassador also highlighted obstacles related to taxation, and the principle of equal treatment for foreign products and services.

The diplomat was speaking during a meeting with the new Secretary of State for Internationalisation, Bernardo Ivo Cruz, who promised to “carefully study the issues raised”.

Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, bilateral trade between the two countries grew by more than US$2 billion (MOP 16 billion) compared to 2019, said Zhao.

The accumulated Chinese investment in Portugal reached 10.6 billion euros, while Portuguese investment in China exceeded 40 million euros.

Zhao called for the signing of bilateral agreements to facilitate investment in areas such as the digital economy and “green” development, as well as joint investment in other countries.

In response, Cruz asked for “more support” from China for Portuguese companies interested in exploring the Chinese market and “better conditions” for their growth.

He also defended changes to make “more effective” the China-Portuguese-speaking Countries Cooperation and Development Fund, worth nearly one billion euros and created by the China Development Bank and the Macau Industrial and Commercial Development Fund.

According to the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Forum Macao), the fund, which has been in existence for almost 10 years, supports a total investment of more than US$4 billion (3.7 billion euros) from Chinese companies in Portuguese-speaking countries, CLBrief reported.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:43 am

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