Macau’s Chinese-Portuguese Electricity Monopoly Company CEM made a Profit of about 800 million patacas (US$100 million) last year, the Power Utility’s Vice President Joao Marques da Cruz said today.

Marques da Cruz said that last year’s profit was “slightly lower” than the one in 2018.

According to the Portuguese business executive, the company invested around one billion patacas last year. He also said that CEM was willing to participate in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) economic development project, which comprises nine cities in Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macau.

Marques da Cruz said he expected negotiations with the government about CEM’s future concession, which expires in 2025, to take place in 2023-24.

The CEO of Portuguese energy company EDP also said that he expected China to overcome its economic problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic faster than other economies but that it would take the country longer to overcome its international image problems caused by the crisis.

“The Chinese economy has more conditions to overcome the consequences of the virus [crisis]… but overcoming “the question of its external image will take more time.”

Marques da Cruz pointed out that China has been much criticised for its handling of the COVID-19 issue, “probably even unfairly.”

He also said that Chinese investors in Portugal should focus on two infrastructure sectors,  ports and railways.

Marques da Cruz, who heads the Camara de Comercio Luso-Chinesa, also said that the Macau-based Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese Speaking Countries should grant Financial Assistance to Enterprises from the Forum’s Member countries to tackle the aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Forum, which was initiated by China, comprises the world’s eight Portuguese speaking countries (Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Cape Verde, and Sao Tome and Principe).

He likened China’s Belt & Road Initiative to the United States’ Marshall Plan.

China Three Gorges is the largest shareholder of EDP-Energies de Portugal. EDP has a 21 per cent stake in CEM. Chinese state-owned, Macau-based Nam Kwong (Group) Co. Ltd is the largest shareholder of CEM.