Source: CGTN Published: 2018-12-4
Portugal's geographical location is a potential asset as economic cooperation between China and Portugal is full of infinite possibilities, according to Liu Zhiqin, a senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.
“The geopolitical position of Portugal is special. It has the long coastline on the Atlantic to the west and south. From history, it has a very good connection outside for Europe. Also, it is the west end of the European continent. It has good advantages in developing its own relations with countries outside, especially Asian countries,” Liu explained.
China is Portugal's largest trading partner in Asia. Official data shows that the trade volume between the two countries climbed eight percent year on year to five billion U.S. dollars in the first 10 months of this year. A data breakdown shows that China exported 3.1 billion U.S. dollars' worth of goods and services to Portugal, while its imports from the country grew to 1.9 billion U.S. dollars.
Portugal so far has established more than 250 projects in China with a total value of 210 million U.S. dollars. In comparison, China's investment in Portugal has surpassed nine billion U.S. dollars, with most of the money poured into sectors such as energy, telecom and finance.
The total value of China-Portugal trade in first 10 months of 2018 increased eight percent from a year earlier. / CGTN Photo
China-Portugal economic cooperation has huge potential, Liu commented. “We know each other and we don't have big differences in culture, people exchanges and communications.” Meanwhile, he indicated that “Portugal from its experience knows well who is its real friend.”
“‘A friend in need is a friend indeed,'” Liu said, adding that when Portugal met with financial difficulties, it was China that immediately provided financial support to help the country.
Liu marked infrastructure, culture, tourism and language as the areas of priority for bilateral economic cooperation.
“At the moment, we see great potential for infrastructure sector, especially for harbor and shipping transportation. Portugal is very strong and well-known for technology in the shipping industry. It is also strong in tourism and culture and has special cultural products that need China's purchase. And Portugal's language is very important for China,” Liu told CGTN.
Liu Zhiqin is a senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.