According to INE, the 10.1 percent increase in exports in 2017 represents a “significant acceleration” compared to the increase of 0.8 percent in 2016, while the 12.5 percent rise in imports is a “marked acceleration” compared to the growth of 1.5 percent the previous year.
At the end of 2017, the trade deficit reached €13.843 billion, a rise of €2.622 billion over the previous year, leading to a decrease in the coverage rate of 1.8 percentage points to 79.9 percent.
Excluding fuels and lubricants, exports and imports grew by 9.1 percent and 10.7 percent respectively in 2017 (+2.3 percent and +5.1 percent in 2016) and the trade deficit was €9.754 billion, or an increase of €1.665 billion compared to 2016.
This follows news that Portugal exported products to China worth US$2.128 billion in 2017, an increase of 34.69 percent on year, when trade between the two countries decreased overall by 0.17 percent, officials said.
Official figures published on the Forum Macau website and based on the statistics of the Chinese Customs Services, show Lisbon sold products to Beijing worth US$2.128 billion (about €1.7 billion), while China exported products to Portugal worth US$3.480 billion.
Although trade totalled US$5.608 billion, generating a surplus for China, Portugal paid China 13.81 percent less by value in 2017.
The same figures showed that trade between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries totalled US$117.588 billion last year, or an increase of 29.4 percent year-on-year.
Brazil is China’s main trading partner among the Portuguese-speaking countries, with trade of US$87.534 billion. China acquired products from Brazil worth US$58.302 billion and Brazil sold goods worth US$29.233 billion.
Between China and Brazil, trade increased by 29.5 percent, with imports from China increasing by 28.4 percent and sales to Brazil growing by nearly 32 percent.
China established the Macau Special Administrative Region as a platform for economic and trade cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries in 2003, the year it also created Forum Macau, which meets at ministerial level every three years.