“Chinese want chamber of commerce to attract investment”
The president of the Chinese League of Portugal, Y Ping Chow, is betting on the creation of a China-Portugal Chamber of Commerce to attract more Chinese investment, especially since Portugal is a good port for investment in Africa.
For Y Ping, there is still a long way to go as far as attracting Chinese investment in Portugal, despite the bets that large Chinese companies have made in sectors such as banking or energy.
The leader of the Chinese community in Portugal talks about the creation of a chamber of commerce as an important lever, mainly to attract the investment of Chinese small and medium enterprises (which will always be large companies with the European dimension) that look not only for the Portuguese territory, but also for the capacity of influence that Portugal has in the Portuguese-speaking African countries.
Y Ping Chow explains that it is easy to establish this chamber of commerce in Portugal and that even spoke with the Chinese ambassador in Lisbon, who was very receptive to the idea.
The greatest difficulty may lie in finding interlocutors in China for this organization since it involves raising awareness among a group of companies that may be less sensitive to the relevance of this investment.
“But I also spoke with the Portuguese ambassador in Beijing and I got the idea that this project is viable and useful,” said Y Ping.
“There is interest from many Chinese state-owned enterprises to this chamber of commerce, especially those of infrastructure and construction,” said the Chinese community leader.
“This interest is a sign of the friendship between Portugal and China,” he says, saying that “the Portuguese accept Chinese investment well and the Chinese feel good in Portugal.”
But Y Ping Chow stresses above all the interest in the influence of Portuguese companies in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).
“Portugal is a gateway to Africa. Portugal is important, but the CPLP is even more important,” he says.
Y Ping refers to the recent visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Lisbon as an important moment that helped create the conditions for this new stage of relations.
“With the many protocols that were signed during this visit, I believe there will be no shortage of Chinese companies interested in betting in Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries,” said the Chinese businessman.
This chamber of commerce can also lead Portuguese companies to seek China as an investment market, although it recognizes that this scenario is always more difficult.