"We would like to have more Chinese industrial investment in Portugal"

Eurico Brilhante Dias, Secretary of State for Internationalization, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Palácio das Necessidades, in Lisbon. (Jorge Amaral / Global Imagen

Eurico Brilhante Dias, Secretary of State for Internationalization, visits China and Macau next week, as part of a delegation led by the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva.

Do Macau and China deserve special attention in Portuguese companies' internationalization strategy and in the attraction of investment in Portugal?

China is an inescapable partner today, it is an inescapable partner not only in China but in the world and we follow their actions with particular attention. And Macau has a statute and a mission that makes Portuguese-speaking countries look to Macau as a good gateway and a good interlocutor in the relationship with the giant that is China.

Are there any major Chinese investments planned in Portugal?

We are always looking for new opportunities and I do not deny that we would like to see, in this re-balancing of globalization, more investment in Portugal, both in industry and in sectors more exposed to international competition.

Portugal has signed an agreement with the People's Republic of China, which is a very important one - that of Cooperation in Third Countries. This agreement was signed by the two prime ministers in 2016.

On every occasion that we've had the chance to, we have emphasized that we really would like Portugal to be not only a gateway into Europe for China, since China also has investments in other European countries, but that it would diversify their investments, and collaborate with us in some other sectors where Portugal is very good but where things could go further with more capital. And this is something that, from the point of view of our economic diplomacy, we maintain as a guiding line, on which we continually want to focus.

Also, less than a month ago, AICEP, our investment and foreign trade agency in Portugal, together with the embassy in Beijing promoted the Portuguese automotive sector in China with Mobinov, before the automotive cluster. 16 "15

We continue wanting to develop the Portuguese automotive cluster and this cluster has more opportunities to integrate into big Chinese OEMs. Because, although Chinese automotive brands are barely visible to us when we walk around here, the truth is that it exists, and it's booming.

At a time when we are apparently approaching a technological breakthrough, which is the shift from fossil fuels to electric mobility. We know it's coming, we just don't know when and under which conditions. And this will have inexorable, obvious impacts on the automotive industry. But this is just an example, as we also have good solutions in the chemical sector. In the metal-mechanical industry, which is part of the automobile making process and in the area of equipment, not only in molds and the production of metal parts for automobiles but also in the production of equipment, we have good alternatives.

But I should highlight that what we want is to continue to follow the line. There are investments in Latin America, Africa and, Asia, but I now focus particularly on Latin America and Africa, on Portuguese companies that may have Chinese partners.