Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers a speech online while attending the opening ceremony of a special ministerial conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, also known as Forum Macao, in Beijing, capital of China, April 10, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

Macao is a bridge connecting China and Portuguese-speaking countries and the central government supports the Special Administrative Region to better leverage its unique advantages, Premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday, calling for strengthening cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries.

Li made the remarks via video link while attending the opening ceremony of a special ministerial conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, also known as the Forum Macao, Xinhua reported.

Member states of the forum are good friends and partners with deeper pragmatic cooperation in various areas, Li said.

Trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries has topped $100 billion for five years in a row and surpassed $200 billion last year, fully indicating resilience and potential of cooperation, according to the premier. 

At present, uncertain and instable factors facing the world economy are notably on the uptrend, he said, citing international and regional turbulence and uneasiness and the still raging COVID-19 pandemic.

China has always uphold world peace and is willing to continue playing a constructive role in safeguarding peace and fostering common development and prosperity, together with Portuguese-speaking countries and the international society, said Li. 

Additionally, China stands ready to strengthen cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries in vaccines, medications and healthcare, and has set up an epidemic prevention communication center in Macao, the premier stated.

The country holds to a high-level and institutional opening-up and stands ready to work with Portuguese-speaking countries to jointly push for trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, Li went on to say, calling for partnerships to advance in infrastructure connectivity, industrial capacity, green trade and energy conservation, and environmental protection. 

Government delegates from China and eight Portuguese-speaking countries, including Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, and Timor-Leste, took part in the meeting and relevant activities online or in-person, according to Xinhua.