ANOTHER MACAO COMPANY GOES GLOBAL
THE RISE OF CHARLESTRONG ENGINEERING SHOWS HOW MACAO CAN DO BUSINESS IN THE PORTUGUESE-SPEAKING COUNTRIES.
Economic dealings between Mainland China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries have developed rapidly in recent years with many Mainland Chinese or Macao companies investing in infrastructure projects in Portuguese-speaking Countries.
Charlestrong Engineering Technology and Consulting (Macau) Ltd is one such company. It is investing in resort and housing projects in East Timor and Mozambique. Company Chairman Charles Shi tells Macao Image in an interview that this can enhance economic exchanges between Mainland China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, while strengthening Macao’s position as a Commercial and Trade Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
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Founded in 2012, Charlestrong engages in real estate development, construction engineering, the sale of building materials and technical consultancy in Macao, in Portuguese-speaking Countries such as East Timor and Mozambique, and in other African countries such as Zambia.
The company has an agreement with the Housing Development Fund of Mozambique to build 35,000 affordable homes in the Mozambican provinces of Nampula, Tete and Maputo, which are meant to ease the country’s housing problem. The project is due to be completed in 2019.
Charlestrong is also in charge of expanding a resort club in the Special Administrative Region of Oecusse in East Timor. Mr Shi says the development will have “the best dining offerings, services and living conditions in Oecusse”. Construction is due to begin in January 2017 and Mr Shi expects the project to be completed in May that year. The company will manage the venue for five years after that.
Charlestrong’s projects in East Timor and Mozambique will make use of the world’s most advanced technology and building materials, and most of the materials are being imported from Mainland China, Mr Shi says. Projects can increase Mainland China’s exports and increase employment in the two countries, where construction workers will quickly learn new skills.
The projects mean Macao can play a greater role as a place where Mainland China and Portuguese-speaking Countries can do business, as envisaged by the Macao SAR Government policy of making Macao a Commercial and Trade Service Co-operation Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.
The head office of the China and Portuguese-speaking Countries Co-operation and Development Fund will move to Macao, and Mr Shi says this shows that the central government attaches great importance to Macao’s function as a place where Mainland China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries can do business. He hopes the move will make more money available to Macao companies that wish to take opportunities provided in Portuguese-speaking Countries. With the support of financial institutions, Macao companies can build up their business in the Portuguese-speaking Countries.
Charlestrong regularly takes part in the International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum and in the Macao International Trade and Investment Fair (MIF). Mr Shi says his company’s attendance is worthwhile, since the events draw the attention of the authorities in Portuguese-speaking Countries to his company. He is grateful that IPIM actively recommends Macao companies for projects in Portuguese-speaking Countries.
Among the Portuguese-speaking Countries, East Timor is where the prospects of Charlestrong building up its business are brightest, Mr Shi says. He says his company is endeavouring to get a contract to build housing for East Timorese civil servants. Investment in infrastructure in Guinea-Bissau was the subject of recent talks between officials of that country and representatives of Charlestrong.
Mr Shi says economic co-operation between Mainland China and Portuguese-speaking Countries will increase, because many Macao companies would like to take the opportunities offered by the city playing its role as a place where Mainland China and Portuguese-speaking Countries can do business. “There is just a bright future for the development of the ties between Mainland China and Portuguese-speaking Countries,” he says.