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China and Portuguese-speaking countries (PSCs) have huge potential for further cooperation in areas ranging from food security, sustainable energy as well as connectivity of goods, services and people, experts said.

Francisco B. S. Jose Leandro, associate dean of the Institute for Research on the PSCs of the City University of Macao, told Xinhua that the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the PSCs, also known as Forum Macao, can play a big role in promoting such cooperation.

Acknowledging Macao's role as a bridge linking China and the PSCs, Leandro said the forum can make efforts to increase the visibility of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in the PSCs and facilitate the accessibility of regions like the Hengqin island of Zhuhai city, which is adjacent to Macao, to foreigners.

In September last year, Chinese central authorities issued a general plan for building the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin as a major arrangement to enrich the practice of "one country, two systems" in Macao and boost the SAR's appropriate economic diversification.

Leandro also called for more cooperation between China and the PSCs in higher education, such as scholarships, joint training and mutual recognition of diplomas.

Carlos Morais Jose, director of Hoje Macao, a local newspaper, said it is always of significance for different countries to enhance cooperation through meetings, referring to the special ministerial conference of Forum Macao held last month.

"It would be very important for China and the PSCs to further cooperation in scientific and technological areas," said Jose, who has published a book on China titled "Nine Points in the Mist - texts about China."

The two sides can also step up cultural exchanges in order to create opportunities for encounters between people, habits, behaviors and values from different cultures, Jose added. 

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