Ministry of foreign affairs rejects Portugal as China’s “special friend”

  • ECO News
  • 20 January 2020

In a statement to the Financial Times, the Portuguese foreign minister speaks of a "meaningless myth" about Portugal's dependence on Chinese investment.

“A myth was created that Portugal is China’s special friend in Europe. That makes no sense at all.” The statement comes from the Portuguese ministry of foreign affairs who rejects the idea that the country is developing a problematic dependency on Beijing.

Augusto Santos Silva was speaking to the Financial Times, at a time when the public tender for the construction and operation of the Vasco da Gama terminal in Sines has attracted the interests of only Chinese companies.

According to this newspaper, at least two Chinese companies are interested in bidding for the new concession – Cosco and Shanghai International Port Group – and the government is inviting European and US companies to submit their bids as well.

In this sense, the foreign minister said he expected “credible” proposals to come not only from China. “The quality of the offers will be much better” if US and European companies also enter the race for Sines, said Santo Silva, pointing out that this terminal is “one of the great opportunities” for Europe to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

With a high Chinese investment in Portugal, the governor emphasized that António Costa’s Executive remains committed to attracting investment from this nationality, strengthening trade and encouraging tourism.

Augusto Santos Silva concluded by saying that this is the time for Chinese investors to invest in the Portuguese industry, particularly in the automobile and electric mobility sectors.