Fostering a platform between Macao and Portuguese-speaking countries MPI signs cooperation agreement on professional Portuguese training with Jiangsu

Guests attending the signing ceremony of the cooperation between MPI and Hong Kong & Macau Affairs Office of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government on training Portuguese-speaking talents pose for a group photo

To align with the country’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and the strategy to establish Macao’s role as a platform of cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, Macao Polytechnic Institute (MPI) signed an agreement on training Portuguese-speaking professionals with Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government under the commission of the Macao SAR Government. Both parties will work together to teach Portuguese to professionals from Jiangsu engaging in trade, investment, education, agriculture, tourism and fishery sectors, providing them with more opportunities to cooperate with Portuguese-speaking countries.

The signing ceremony of the cooperation between MPI and Hong Kong & Macau Affairs Office of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government on training Portuguese-speaking talents was held at MPI on 26 May. The signing ceremony was presided over by Professor Lei Heong Iok, President of MPI, and Mr Fei Shaoyun, Director of the Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government. President Lei noted that Jiangsu has a rich cultural heritage and is indeed China’s centre of education and culture. The higher education sector in Jiangsu has seen rapid development, while efforts in nurturing talents and exploring cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries has placed the province at the forefront of the country. President Lei introduced that the Institute has a history of over two decades in training Portuguese-speaking professionals. Through this project, MPI will contribute to the nurturing of talents of Jiangsu who are well-versed in the language. The two parties will join hands in seizing the opportunities of the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative to further promote relations between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries. MPI currently has a strong team of over forty bilingual (Chinese and Portuguese) and native Portuguese teachers and researchers. The Institute offers a number of Bachelor’s and joint postgraduate programmes in related areas, and has established a comprehensive talent development scheme in Portuguese language. Various professional Portuguese training programmes offered by MPI include training designed for professionals from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Science and Technology, Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) as well as Hubei Province; teacher training for 30 mainland universities which offer Portuguese courses; and advanced interpretation summer training jointly organised with the Directorate-General of the European Commission for over 20 professionals from government departments and universities of the Chinese Mainland and Macao. Over 600 Portuguese teachers, government translators and other professionals have participated in these trainings. MPI, University of Lisbon and University of Coimbra have jointly launched four volumes of eight Português Global textbooks, the first comprehensive set of Portuguese teaching materials at the university level published and distributed by the Commercial Press in China. The book series belong to the fruit of a decade-long cooperation.

At the ceremony Mr Fei commended MPI for its beautiful campus, noting that the Institute’s professional academic team and energetic students have deeply impressed him. According to him, Jiangsu and Macao have seen a rapid growth in cooperation in recent years. Under the backdrop of the ‘One Centre, One Platform’ strategy, Jiangsu is keen to create a win-win opportunity of fostering the province’s friendly cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries by sending experienced practitioners to learn the language in Macao. Mr Fei expects that the signing of this agreement will improve the foreign language competency of the delegates, allowing them to use Macao as a platform to open up the door of cooperation between Jiangsu and Portuguese-speaking countries, and from there to get in touch with the rest of the world.

Guests attending this signing ceremony also included Ms Wang Hongmei, Division Chief of Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Division of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government; Mr Fang Aikun, Principal Staff of the Foreign Affairs Office of Jiangsu Province; Professor Im Sio Kei, Vice President of MPI; Professor Carlos André, Head of Portuguese Language Teaching and Research Centre; Professor Yang Zai Huai, Director of the School of Physical Education and Sports, Professor Rosa Bizarro, Coordinator of the Chinese-Portuguese Translation and Interpretation programme as well as Mr Zhang Yunfeng, Assistant Coordinator of the programme.

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