BNU president in Macau sees the region as "a sea of opportunities" and said that the project of the Greater Bay Area is "an explosion of opportunities in the next ten years." "The Greater Bay Area project is a sea of opportunities for anyone who wants to come to Macau; one of the pillars is Macau being the world leisure center, and the second is to be a Plataforma of business between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries," said Carlos Álvares.
"The BNU can be a effort collaborative and a business enabler between Portugal and Macau and China, and we are investing heavily into this; in addition to the proximity we have with the Forum Macau, we are trying to do the same with AICEP and the Portuguese-language investment fundraising agency, in order to show business opportunities in Greater Bay Area", he added, in an interview with Lusa at BNU headquarters, in Macau.
The Greater Bay Area is a political project of China that intends to create an economic zone that includes Macau, Hong Kong and nine other Chinese cities, with a geographic size equivalent to two thirds of Portugal, but with a current GDP of 1.4 trillion dollars and which in a decade could grow to about 3 billion.
"The Greater Bay Area includes 5 percent of the Chinese population, but it is worth 11 or 12 percent of GDP and a third of Chinese exports," said the banker, noting that BNU is 100 percent owned by Caixa Geral de Depósitos, which is in all Portuguese-speaking African countries, with a significant market share.
"Unfortunately, can count on your fingers the Portuguese companies in China, but one thing it is to go to China, which is a world, and another thing is to come to Greater Bay Area, which is an area with 70 million inhabitants with a very large purchase potential that can generate a myriad of businesses", said the former president of Banco Popular.
Macau, he concluded, "could be a good gateway, because one of the pillars of development in Macau is to be a business Plataforma between Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking countries, and China" and, in this context, "BNU can be a precious help for these companies to settle here, having the ease of the language, making the bank the bridge between the West and the East in a very simplified way."
BNU, "one of the most profitable operations of the Caixa Group", in Macau with 500 employees, 20 branches and has an operation of 4 billion euros in deposits and 2.5 billion in credit, also registering a share of 14 percent in the card transactions market.