New Macau-China customs criteria could be stimulating for Portugal, says association

"All products that may have Portuguese origins and that can fit into the agreement ... will always be stimulating measures for the increase of our commercial relations", he told Lusa Alberto Carvalho Neto.

Aly Song / Reuters

China and Macau have broadened the criteria for the origin of products that benefit from exemption from customs duties, a measure that can be stimulating for Portuguese companies, the president of the China-Portugal Association of Young Entrepreneurs told Lusa today.

“All products that may have a Portuguese origin and that can fit into the agreement… will always be stimulating measures to the increase of our commercial relations. We will have to pay attention to the tariff codes and their description of goods to see what can be contemplated ”, said Alberto Carvalho Neto to Lusa.

On Wednesday, changes to improve the criteria for origin of seven items of goods in the Agreement on Trade in Goods under CEPA took effect.

"The CEPA agreement is essentially composed of facilitation measures, promoting trade in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Grand Bay (covering the entire interior of China), raising the level of trade facilitation in the region," he explained.

It is, therefore, “an engine for the development of goods trade between the territories, in order to promote the development of the diversification of Macao's economy, supporting the training and installation of companies in order to enjoy exemption or reduction of rights. customs, acting from customs procedures to sanitary measures ”, he added.

In other words, service providers in the Macau Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR), like Portuguese companies, have access to the commercial market in the interior of China, benefiting from practically the same access conditions as Chinese investors.

In response to Lusa, the Directorate of Economic Services (DSE) detailed that from the seven items now reviewed, products such as sausages and similar products, of meat, edible offal or animal blood, food preparations based on sausages, preparations or preserves of rear legs of the porcine species, preparations or preserves of front legs of the porcine species and preparations or preserves of other meat, offal and blood of the porcine species.

Regarding the review of the seven criteria for the origin of goods under CEPA, the DSE reported, another criterion was added: 'content of regional value', which allows Macao's production companies to, depending on their own production conditions , “Opt for a more flexible way to satisfy the requirements related to the respective criteria”.

The president of the China-Portugal Association of Young Entrepreneurs clarified, however, that the products that have benefited the most from CEPA are works of art, copper and collection works, “and then more to the end the processed products, within these, the typical dumplings from Macau ”.

"Conclusion, it is not that comprehensive to typical Portuguese products", since "the level of processing to reach the required regional value is very high compared to the assembly costs of a typical industry", because of labor costs , the price per square meter and the difficulties of storage space.

In the opinion of Alberto Carvalho Neto, the CEPA agreement could be better used, through a “close relationship with Portuguese-speaking countries”.

To this end, he stressed, Macau should increase its scope and collaboration with Portuguese-speaking countries, through “the creation of the M brand, that is, products from Portuguese-speaking countries in which the calculation formula and the process limitations were slightly changed” .

And so, he underlined, “once and for all, to stimulate the appearance of agri-food industries, promoting the arrival of bulk material and packaging and packing” such as cashew from Guinea Bissau, which currently leaves the country and goes “for roasting and packaging to India, Vietnam and Malaysia and is sold to the interior of China with margins of 300% ”.

Only then can there be “an economic stimulus, both for Macanese entrepreneurs in trade relations with China, or in supporting the valued export of small and medium-sized companies in Portuguese-speaking countries”, he defended.

"For this to happen, there must be political unity and a lot of economic diplomacy, but I believe that China would accept this narrowing of trade," he concluded.

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