Against the wider backdrop of an upwardly-ratcheting ‘trade war’ with the United States, a director at the Bank of China has been telling Lusa how keen her country is to invest in Portugal.
The problem however is that China simply can’t find “good projects and investment opportunities” here.
In charge of the Bank of China’s department of financial institutions – which liaises with international banks – Wendy Sun Min, explained that China is very keen to make further investments in Portugal.
“We have a Sino-Portuguese fund, established by the Chinese government and with a certain amount of financing available for Macau”, she told Lusa.
This fund has an initial capital of 500 million dollars (€448 million), set to increase in phases.
“There are other sovereign funds, like the China Cooperation Fund that could also invest in Portugal”, Sun Min added.
“There are many funds available, looking for investment opportunities.
“Here, in the Bank of China Macau we can also finance companies interested in investing in Portuguese-speaking countries, whether public or private.
“Macau could become a centre to support this kind of investment”.
Wendy Sun Min went on to explain how in the interests of ‘deepening the financial relationship between China and Portugal” her bank has increased its quota of Portuguese-speaking staff, and is making more trips to Portugal (every three months, instead of only once a year).
The idea is to have “more frequent communication with Portuguese banks” with a view to wider sharing of information that “could result in business and investments”.
The news came the day after Google announced it has suspended China telecoms company Huawei’s access to updates of its Android operating system due to a presidential order, barring US companies from selling components and software to the company.
Initial reports suggested that all Huawei devices would find themselves instantly blocked from gmail, Youtube and other mobile phone ‘staples’.
This now looks unlikely – but tensions between the two countries are certainly affecting the rest of the world.