To implement cooperation on food safety between Macao and Portugal, the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) and Food and Economic Safety Authority (ASAE) of Portugal held the first working meeting in Macao on May 2. Both sides had discussions about notification of information about food safety, technique for food testing and personnel training, etc., jointly promoting the food safety efforts in both places.
In October last year, the Macao SAR Government signed a cooperation agreement on surveillance and monitoring of food activities with Portugal. In accordance with the content of the agreement, the working teams of both sides take turns to convene a working meeting each year and conduct technical and operational exchanges in areas of laboratory tests, research and studies, etc. To implement the content of the concerned agreement, José Tavares, Chairman of Administration Committee of IACM and Pedro Portugal Gaspar, General Inspector of ASAE of Portugal, hold the first bilateral working meeting at the Grand Hall of the IACM Building on the afternoon of May 2.
On the basis of the cooperation agreement, both sides conducted discussions in a number of areas related to safeguarding food safety, which include establishment of notification method of food safety information and designation of contact person to facilitate instant notification of food safety issues in both places, more opportunities for Macao to participate in food safety workshops and meetings in the European Union with Portugal serving as Macao’s channel in the European Union to enable Macao to attain international level, reinforcement of exchanges on test technique of both sides to allow Macao to grasp the methods and equipment for testing food imported from Portugal, achieving consistency in test standards in the two places.
Furthermore, to stay in line with Macao’s positioning as the “Food Product Distribution Centre for Portuguese-speaking Countries”, the two sides also discussed the establishment of cooperation project on comparison tests between laboratories in both places, which will serve as the basis for studying the feasibility of mutual recognition of test results in the future. After the meeting, ASAE of Portugal will conduct a 3-week training for practitioners in food safety work in Macao, which will cover law, tests and inspection, and food safety, etc.
José Tavares, Chairman of Administration Committee of IACM, expressed that Macao, as the service platform for business and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, has been active in serving communication purpose and functioning as a bridge. The fruitful outcomes obtained from this meeting in areas of food safety information notification, technique for food testing and personnel training, etc. would help to further understand the skills, supervision and technique of food production in both places, strengthening the confidence in food trade activities between Macao and Portugal and promoting the food safety in Macao to attain international level. In the future, the two sides would reinforce exchanges and cooperation constantly to jointly improve the supervision and control over food products imported from Portuguese-speaking countries to Macao, safeguarding consumers and elevating their confidence.
Attendees of the meeting also included Ana Catarina Mendes Leal, Head of Office of International Relations of ASAE of Portugal, Isabel Celeste Jorge, member of Administration Committee of IACM, Cheong Kuai Tat, Head of Food Safety Centre, Albino de Campos Pereira, Head of Department of Food and Animal Inspection and Control of the IACM, Ung Wai Hou, Head of Division of Risk Management and Planning, José Ernesto Paula, Head of Division of Food Inspection and Lao Wai Man, Head of Laboratory, etc.