Portuguese-language countries exported 46.74 billion dollars (€39.40 billion euros) of goods to China in the first half of this year, down 7.32% on the figure for the same period in 2019, it was announced on Tuesday.
According to official figures based on customs statistics and published on the website of Forum Macao – a platform set up by China to foster economic and trade cooperation with Portuguese-language countries – China sold 17.85 billion dollars in goods to these countries in the first half, down 9.39%. The total value of trade was 64.59 billion dollars, down 7.9% from the first half of 2019.
The forum, which was set up in 2003, works with eight members of the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries (CPLP): Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, and East Timor.
Angola was the Portuguese-language country whose trade with China in the first half fell most, by 38% to 8.45 billion dollars.
Brazil, which remains the Portuguese-language country with by far the largest volume of trade with China (totalling 43.69 billion dollars in the first half), sold 37.58 billion dollars of goods to the Asian giant, up 3.5%. China exported 14.24 billion dollars to Brazil, down 8.93%.
Portugal was the third-ranked Portuguese-language country in terms of trade with China, totalling 3.08 billion dollars, down 5.96%. It exported goods worth 1.14 billion dollars to China, up 2.46%, and imported 1.93 billion dollars, down 10.32%.
However, in June alone the two countries’ bilateral trade was up 7.35% on a year earlier, as a result of a massive 77.14% increase in exports from Portugal to China.
Mozambique, ranked fourth among Portuguese-language countries in terms of trade with China, at 1.09 billion euros in the half, down 5.05% on the year earlier.
It was followed by East Timor (total trade of 671 million dollars in the first), Cabo Verde (406 million dollars), Guinea-Bissau (234 million dollars) and Sao Tome and Principe (4.92 million dollars).
China has used the Special Administrative Region of Macau as a platform for economic and trade cooperation with Portuguese-language countries since 2003, when it created the Macau Forum.
The forum has a permanent secretariat, holds ministerial-level meetings every three years. In addition to a secretary-general and three deputy secretaries-general, it has delegates from each of the eight Portuguese-language countries with which it works.
Equatorial Guinea, which is the only other member of the CPLP but where Portuguese is not widely spoken despite being an official language, is not a member of Forum Macao, although it has expressed interest in joining.