China will grant at least 2 billion yuan (US$300 million) in preferential loans to Portuguese-speaking African and Asian countries that are members of Forum Macau, China’s prime minister announced in Macau.
Li Keqiang said that these loans are intended to promote the productive capacity of the beneficiary countries and strengthen “further” cooperation in terms of building infrastructure in those Portuguese-speaking countries.
China’s Prime Minister also announced a donation of 2 billion yuan to member countries of the Forum from Africa and Asia – Angola, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Timor-Leste (East Timor) – to support projects focused on the wellbeing of their people, particularly in agriculture, to prevent and combat malaria and traditional medicine research.
The Chinese government will also pardon the debts already due on interest-free loans granted to Forum Macau African and Asian member countries in the amount of 500 million yuan.
One of the new support measures announced by Li Keqiang aims to strengthen exchange and cooperation in health, particularly maternal and child health, and the Prime Minister announced that China will continue to send medical teams to the Portuguese-speaking member countries in Africa and Asia.
In terms of training, China will provide 2000 training places in various areas and grant 2,500 scholarships per year.
In relation to Macau and the role that the territory has played as a platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, Li Keqiang said that China will support Macau to become a financial services platform.
Macau will also be the headquarters of the Association of Enterprise Directors of China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries and host a training centre for Portuguese-Chinese bilingual professionals, and China will provide 30 places for training courses offering certification.
Macau will also be home to the Cultural Exchange Centre and the Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries and the Complex of Commerce and Trade Cooperation for China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, which was inaugurated on Tuesday by the Chinese Prime Minister.
This complex is intended, according to the Prime Minister to provide substantial support for cooperation among member countries of Forum Macau in the areas of trade, investment, conventions and exhibitions and cultural activities.