Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Portugal is of great importance to enhance the Portugal-China comprehensive strategic partnership, said Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa in a recent interview with People’s Daily.
The Portuguese Prime Minister hoped that through Xi’s visit, both countries can make joint efforts to promote sustained economic growth driven by openness, innovation and technology, so as to better benefit the two peoples.
Costa said that China and Portugal, though located at the eastern and western ends of the Eurasian continent, enjoy a long history of exchanges with mutual respect and trust.
At present, both countries are seeing positive development of bilateral ties, continuous improvement of their comprehensive strategic partnership, as well as constant growth of bilateral trade and investment, the Prime Minister noted.
Facing the opportunities and challenges in the 21st century, China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, which has greatly promoted the interconnectivity among continents and countries, and made important contributions to strengthening economic and trade exchanges as well as international cooperation, he remarked.
Costa noted that Portugal pays high attention to the Belt and Road Initiative, and is willing to actively participate in the Belt and Road construction and learn from China’s experience in opening up and development.
Portugal has a unique geostrategic advantage, which indicates potential for a greater Portugal-China partnership, said Costa.
“Portugal serves as a hub of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the Silk Road Economic Belt. It has a global maritime route and has close connection with Portuguese-speaking countries in Latin America and Africa. Therefore, China and Portugal enjoy natural advantages in the Belt and Road cooperation,” he said.
The world is becoming smaller owing to stronger connections, which is conducive to international cooperation, noted the Prime Minister. “To make contribution to the economic globalization is a responsibility of Portugal and China,” he remarked.
Costa noted that Portugal is committed to cementing the major outcomes gained by the international community in recent years, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.
“We will always keep working with China to promote inclusive economic growth and share development dividends by enhancing cooperation at all levels,” said Costa.
Recognizing China’s efforts in the promotion of Portugal’s economy, Costa said that investment from Chinese enterprises played a vital role in Portugal’s economic recovery. Portugal welcomes investment from China and China is a cooperative partner of Portugal with distinct advantages.
He said that Portugal attaches high importance on China’s sports development and is proud of the Portuguese players and coaches that have made contribution in this regard, such as Vitor Pereira, who is currently coaching the Shanghai SIPG, a professional Chinese football club that has just won the championship of the Chinese Football Association Super League.
“Portugal and China will further enhance cooperation in sports for the years to come, and Portugal is willing to help cultivate Chinese youth players and make football an increasingly competitive sport of China,” said Costa.
He believes that China has great potential in football, and Portugal and China has bright prospects of sports cooperation.
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