On the occasion of Portugal's national day, André Sobral Cordeiro, the Consul General of Portugal in Guangzhou visited Lusitano Bistro, the only restaurant with Portuguese food in Southern China, with exception of Macao SAR, on June 10, Portugal national day.
The CG shared his insights on economic development under the influence of COVID-19, bilateral relations, and his impression of Guangdong with Newsgd.com.
André Sobral Cordeiro, the Consul General of Portugal in Guangzhou. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
‘Waiting for the world to connect again’
The world’s economy is faced with uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Cordeiro, when COVID-19 broke out, it was ‘scary’ because nobody knew what was going on.
‘We saw Guangzhou totally empty, which was very strange. But we understood the reasons and what was going on. Things gradually came back to normal here, and now the only thing that we are still waiting for is the world to connect again.’
He thinks China is doing a good job in recovering its economy. ‘Of course, it's a slow process. It has been a huge crisis for us all.’
He noted, ‘Portugal is the safest country after the COVID-19 broke out in Europe. Now we’re ready to come back to normal, and people are getting back to work. Our economy slowed down, even almost stopping for a while. All the volumes of trade investment, business were going down. But we know that was only temporary.’
‘Portugal is interested in the Great Bay Area project’
‘We have been very interested in the Great Bay Area project since the proposal was released last year, and we are waiting for concrete proposals for investment, trade, etc. There is much room to enhance the cooperation between Guangdong and Portugal.’
Both Guangdong and Portugal share long coastal lines, and in the following fields the CG thinks Guangdong and Portugal can deepen cooperation with each other: agricultural food, car industry, technology, medicine, and moulding industry, for instance.
‘We need to come and see what both of us are doing’
To develop relations, Cordeiro believes we need to promote people-to-people exchanges. ‘We are extremely far away geographically, so we need to come and see what both of us are doing.’
The CG suggests considering Portugal as a destination for spending holidays. ‘Those who have not been there will have a very good surprise. It's a small but very safe country with wonderful weather and food.’
He added, ‘As soon as this crisis is over, I think we should start going back to normal. Then, you can go to Portugal and be sure that all Chinese people will be very well treated.’
‘Guangdong is extremely green’
Cordeiro took his position on 16 July 2017. When he came to China, he was impressed with ‘big’ things. ‘The number of people...the number of everything in China, it's always so big compared to Portugal.’
The other big impression of Guangdong when he arrived here, is the fact that it's extremely green. ‘There are many trees and the environment is very green, which was unexpected because we always see pollution and it’s normal in many big cities. However, it is extremely green here, which is a very good sign and expectations for the world.’
The CG is also a fan of Guangdong’s sweet food. Talking about the food culture in Guangdong, he praises Guangdong’s good soups and various kinds of Dim-sum.