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Premier Li meets Portuguese PM on cooperation

Updated: Oct 9,2016 9:33 PM

Premier Li Keqiang meets Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct 9.

Premier Li Keqiang met visiting Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct 9.

The Portuguese prime minister will attend the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, during his official visit to China.

During the meeting, Premier Li said that since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations 37 years ago, the relationship between China and Portugal had maintained stable and healthy development. The two sides adhere to mutual respect and treat each other equally. The two counties successfully achieved the smooth transfer and handover of Macao, setting up a model for countries to solve problems left from history, and starting a new chapter on the rapid development of China-Portugal relations.

In the new historical period, China hopes to maintain sound high-level exchanges with Portugal, deepen political mutual trust, expand pragmatic cooperation, strengthen people-to-people exchanges, and enhance communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, in order to benefit the people of the two countries, the Premier said.

China and Portugal are highly complementary in the economy with shared interests and huge cooperation potential, Premier Li said. China is willing to promote bilateral cooperation through the connection between China’s Belt and Road initiative and Portugal’ s development strategy.

While increasing trade and investment cooperation, the two sides should consolidate and expand trilateral and multilateral cooperation in Portuguese-speaking countries and other regions, the Premier said.

The Premier added that the two nations should strengthen cooperation in infrastructure and farm products, and carry out new cooperation in new and clean energy, with the aim of promoting trade liberalization and facilitating investment.

China believes Portugal would build a better environment for investors, including Chinese companies, with sound legal protection.

The Premier emphasized that China always supports European integration, and believes that an unified, prosperous, and stable European Union serves the interests of all sides, and is conducive to global economic recovery and financial stability.

China hopes Portugal can continue to play a constructive role in China-EU relations, the Premier added.

Premier Li meets Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct 9.

Costa said Portugal and China had a long history of friendly exchanges, while bilateral ties between the two countries had also developed well. The smooth transfer of the Macao regime set a good example for the international society. Portugal is glad to see that Macao has become a platform to boost cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, he added.

Portugal is willing to continue high level visits with China, strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges, deepen trade and investment cooperation in such sectors as energy, finance, infrastructure construction, agricultural products and tourism, and co-promote the third market cooperation in efforts to raise Sino-Portuguese ties to a new and higher level, said the prime minister.

Chinese enterprises are welcome to exert comparative advantages in production capacity and technology in the frame of One Belt and One Road initiative, and explore broader cooperation space in the fields of internet and new energy, Costa noted. Portugal is willing to play an active role in the relation development between China and EU countries, he added.

Before the meeting, Premier Li held a welcome ceremony for Antonio Costa in front of the Great Hall of the People.

After the meeting, Premier Li and Costa witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation agreements on Sino-Portuguese third market cooperation, finance, energy, telecommunications, and culture.