São Tomean ambassador Paulo Jorge Espírito Santo will be the new deputy secretary-general of the Permanent Secretariat of the Macao-based Forum for Economic and Commercial Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, Rádio Macau/TDM reported on Tuesday.
According to the unsourced report, the career diplomat will replace Rodrigo Brum from Portugal whose term ended in August.
Espírito Santo will represent the eight Portuguese-speaking countries in the organisation informally known as Forum Macao, which is overseen by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) in Beijing.
The report pointed out that Forum Macao will hold its annual meeting in Macao next week, which will formalise the replacement of the representative of the Portuguese-speaking countries who serves a three-year term on a rotating basis.
The meeting will be attended by the ambassadors of Forum Macao’s Portuguese-speaking member countries, the report said.
Forum Macau, an initiative of the central government, comprises China, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Timor -Leste, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
The report pointed out that Portugal’s Beijing-based ambassador, José Augusto Duarte, will arrive in Macao next Monday.
Meanwhile, the 12th Cultural Week of China and Portuguese-speaking Countries will for the first time be held simultaneously online and offline due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao has announced. The online events start next Thursday.
The Permanent Secretariat has launched a special website for the Cultural Week (semanacultural.forumchinaplp.org.mo) with around 40 virtual, artistic and cultural displays. They cover topics including dance and music, handicrafts and gastronomy, and represent 11 countries and regions, namely Shandong province and the Macao Special Administrative Region, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Timor-Leste, and São Tomé and Príncipe, as well as Goa, Daman and Diu in India, according to a recent statement by Forum Macau.
“It is imperative that all countries strive to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic that has turned into both a deep crisis, and a global challenge. Forum Macau has actively developed a series of online and offline activities as part of its work as an institution backing the role of Macao as a cooperation platform linking China and Portuguese-speaking Countries,” the Permanent Secretariat said in the statement.
Forum Macao’s secretary-general, Xu Yingzhen, ended her four-year posting from the Ministry of Commerce to Macao last month. Her successor has still to be named by the central government.