"Wine, olive oil and friend, the older the better" – The Economic Journal

"Wine, olive oil and friend, the older the better" - The Economic Journal

Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that there are more and more points of convergence between Portugal and China at the joint press conference with Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the Palace of Belém.

"Wine, olive oil and friend, the older the better," said Xi Jinping, recalling the Portuguese proverb to describe the Sino-Portuguese relationship.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the official invitation for Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to visit China next year, regarding the second edition of the forum of the "Silk Road" and that the Portuguese counterpart has accepted.

I just had a solo meeting [com Marcelo Rebelo de Sous], where we reached several consensus, "he said.

The Chinese leader stressed the "political trust and pragmatic cooperation" between the two states, identifying a growing number of points of convergence.

Xi Jinping also anticipated that next year, the Middle Kingdom will remain committed to "multilateralism and free trade," even though it has focused on the importance of bilateral relations.

Before the press conference, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa received the Chinese president in the Square of the Empire, in a ceremony with military honors and in the evening will give a dinner in his honor, in the Palace of Belém.

The Chinese president's two-day visit continues tomorrow with a meeting with Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, president of the Assembly of the Republic and with Prime Minister António Costa, where 19 agreements will be signed in various areas.

Chinese investment has grown substantially in Portugal since 2011, with Chinese capital being present in companies such as EDP, REN, BCP, among others. The visit of the Chinese leader comes at a decisive time for Chinese investments in the Portuguese energy sector.

On the one hand, there is increasing political and regulatory pressure to reduce the so-called "revenues" of energy. In 2012, when China Three Gorges (CTG) entered into EDP's capital, during the last phase of privatization of the company, energy "revenues" seemed secured. But this scenario has changed in recent years, causing visible displeasure to the Chinese, who have insisted on fulfilling what they consider to be commitments made by the Portuguese authorities during the privatization of EDP and REN.

On the other hand, a CTG OPA on EDP is under way. Six months after the announcement, the deal is awaiting regulatory approval in Europe and the US, with a timetable for regulatory approvals from the end of this year to the beginning of next.

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