The Portugal-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCILC), founded in 1978, was the first institution that, in a systematic and persistent way, helped to develop the economic and commercial relationship between Portugal and the People’s Republic of China.
Founded before the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Portugal and the People’s Republic of China, CCILC has pursued for almost 38 years to foment the development of economic and commercial relations, as well as facilitate interaction between companies and institutions of both countries.
CCILC elected some of the largest and most emblematic Portuguese companies in the relationship with China to imprint a new dynamic that will assist the great effort of rapprochement between the two countries.
Presently headed by EDP, it has among it’s governing bodies some of the most relevant industrial and financial entities of both countries (Haitong Bank, REN/State Grid, Huawei, China Three Gorges, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Fidelidade/Fosun, Millennium BCP, Estoril Sol, Novo Banco, etc.), as well as other MNE's and SME's from different sectors, that complement the remaining social organs in a universe of nearly 300 associates which intend to dynamize a platform to assist the development of business and trade between Portugal and China.
The promotion and protection of its associates’ interests; the divulgation of information susceptible of affecting their activities and a constant and committed action next to the official authorities towards the creation of better conditions for the resolution of problems that will further help the development of bilateral business and negotiations, constitute the central mission of the Chamber’s action, through its General Secretary administrative structure and a series of referenced partnerships in Portugal and China
Throughout its existence, CCILC has intended to offer its associates a set of qualified technical support services, to allow them the development of their entrepreneurial activities in China in the most effective, safe and informed way. It seeks to provide information of all nature, divulging business opportunities, statistic data on imports and exports, as well as organising trade fairs and exhibitions. It further provides information on legislation and regulation, organises events, conferences and promotes entrepreneurial networking between the two countries. Elaborates market studies and research, provides support for official and entrepreneurial delegations’ visits, executes interpretations and translations, and cooperates in legal, fiscal and commercial consultancy.
In 1976, a group of Portuguese traders and industrialists (among them Lieutenant Colonel Ferreira da Cunha, António Nolasco, Rogério de Matos, Henrique de Jesus and Azevedo Batalha) began efforts to create a Portuguese Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the objective of facilitating and fostering economic exchange between Portugal and the People’s Republic of China.
Informal contacts were established with the Chinese authorities, which were only possible with the support of the Portugal-China Friendship Association and the initiative of Sirs Manuel Bulhosa and Silas Chou. In January 1977, after an agreement in principle from the Chinese authorities, the Portuguese authorities accepted and cherished the initiative, through the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Trade offices
After sending information about its constitution to several companies in which they were alerted to the membership benefits, the association (CCILC) immediately obtained numerous membership applications (over 50) in the business branches of Projects, Wine, Shoes, Cork, Confections, Textiles, Oil, Computing, Furniture – Metal and Wooden, Shipbuilding and Navy, in its foundation, in 1978.
In the genesis of the CCILC’s development were diverse known companies, such as Amorim & Irmão, Sogrape, Air France, still associated, among others. However, the largest representativity came from the financial sector, always a strong supporter, at the time through the banks Borges & Irmão, Fonsecas & Burnay, Pinto & Sotto Maior, Português do Atlântico, Nacional Ultramarino, Espirito Santo e Comercial de Lisboa and the Union of Portuguese Banks.
Nearly 40 years from its foundation, the Portugal China Chamber of Commerce and Industry has established itself as a reference entity in the promotion of the economic and commercial relationship development between Portugal and the People’s Republic of China, with a reputation and credibility in the establishment of bridges connecting companies and institutions of both countries, always with a transversal representativity of the Portuguese economic fabric amidst its associates, among which the great names of Portuguese economic and entrepreneurial life continue to pontificate, which will now be increasingly accompanied by their Chinese counterparts.