07 Dec 2018
During Chinese President Xi Jingping’s two-day state visit to Lisbon, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in an effort to create closer trade ties.
On Wednesday, the Portuguese government said that it would cooperate with China in order to form “new Silk Roads” of trade.
The signing of 17 bilateral cooperation memoranda of understanding also formed part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” agreements with countries around the world. The initiative offers loans for the construction of large-scale infrastructure projects.
Speaking at a news conference, Xi said: "We are going to pursue (the initiative) in a spirit of openness and mutual gain to create further synergies between our development strategies and underpin the construction of new silk roads.”
Some countries have however expressed caution surrounding China’s plans, with Spain declining to sign a memorandum of understanding.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, on the other hand, emphasised on "the importance of Portugal's strategic role in linking silk roads with the ensemble of connections between Europe and Asia."
The American Enterprise Institute revealed that since the 2008 economic crisis, Portugal has received around US$8 billion in Chinese investment, particularly in the energy, banking and insurance sectors. This surpassed Spain, which received around US$6 billion.
Since 2005, China has invested around US$9.1 trillion in global investment and construction projects.