Recovery Tsar points to China-Portugal policy shift
The Government has indicated that Portugal’s bi-lateral trade relationship with China may be about to change.
Government appointed economic recovery Tsar António Costa e Silva says the country has to “rethink its position on the so-called ‘New Silk Route’ or ‘Belt and Road’ strategy”.
In an interview with new agency Lusa, Costa e Silva said that throughout the Covid-19 pandemic “China has revealed some facets that are always expected from a totalitarian regime, but not to the extent and scale in which they occurred.”
He says that Portugal needs to rethink its approach to China’s plans for Europe because “we see the reactions that all this is proving … which is that this new Cold War exists,” he’s said.
“It is vital that Europe reflects on the economic relationship with China notwithstanding the fact that Portugal’s own relationship with the superpower is good,” he continued.
The CEO of Partex Oil & Gas, who has stepped into the limelight as an unpaid economic recovery advisor at the invitation of Prime Minister António Costa in what he called “a civic duty to his country” said, “I think we (Portugal) have to be more careful than ever.”
He stressed that Portugal needed to try and hold onto its good relationship with China but seek a unified approach with European partners over what Costa e Silva agrees is a “problem generated throughout the world.”
The fact that so many strategic sectors are already in the hands of China is definitely not ideal, he agreed. “There should have been a better balance in the conjugation of the various powers, but we are where we are. It’s how we move forward that will make the difference,” he said.
In this the recovery Tsar referred to the forthcoming US elections in November and the disagreements between the US and China over control of technology.
If President Trump wins a mandate for a second term in office, Costa e Silva sees that, “Things will get a great deal more difficult” — with the whole Huawei/5G debate “blowing up again”.
The control of cutting-edge technology is central, he stressed, “Because the ones that have it are the ones that will shape the future.”