China's Lusophone connection
"In October 2003, unnoticed by the rest of the world, Macau hosted the first ministerial meeting of the Forum for Trade and Economic Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (hereafter referred to as the Macau Forum), bringing together highlevel representatives from Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Macau and China. The idea to create this China-Lusophone countries Forum was developed between the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the Executive Government of Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) not long after Macau's handover to China on 20 December 1999. The intention to realise this endeavour seems to have been mentioned publicly for the first time during the visit to Lisbon by the Chinese vice premier for economic affairs in July 2002. The preparatory multilateral meetings to formally establish the Macau Forum commenced in the spring of the following year, and the Forum was formally created in October 2003. In the three years between the first and second ministerial conferences, trade between China and the Lusophone countries grew threefold, from $11 billion in 2003 to $34 billion in 2006, along with soaring Chinese investment and development aid, with a special focus on the African Portuguese-speaking countries (PSCs)."