Economist Qiu Xiaohua, who heads the Institute of Economic Research of the private City University of Macau, Tuesday urged the local government to consider using some of its huge financial reserves to invest in the central government’s national development strategy known as “One Belt, One Road” or “Belt and Road Initiative”.
Qiu said that the government should consider using several tens of billion patacas of its financial reserves for investments under the national strategy.
The economist made the suggestion before a seminar held at the headquarters of the People’s Alliance for the Development of Macau in Areia Preta.
The one-day seminar was about the central government’s Belt and Road Initiative and the possible role Macau can play when the national development strategy is being fleshed out. The seminar was organised by the Wui In Society, an association established in 2007 with the main aim of uniting intellectuals and professionals from various sector to contribute to the development of the city.
Both groups are affiliated to local Fujianese community leaders Chan Meng Kam and Si Ka Lon. Chan and Si are directly-elected lawmakers while Chan is also the chancellor of the university. Chan is also a member of the Executive Council, the government’s top advisory body.
Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On and Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac paid a working visit to Fujian earlier this week to strengthen economic and commercial ties between the two sides.
The “One Belt, One Road” concept refers to the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and oceangoing Maritime Silk Road initiatives raised by President Xi Jinping during his state visit to Indonesia in 2013.
When asked by reporters about the initiative, Qiu said that it will be very important for the future development of the nation, adding that it will move the country forward in its push to be more open and international.
“Thus Macau should be more active and play a dynamic role…when the nation is implementing the policy,” Qiu said, adding that the local government had accumulated about 500 billion patacas in financial reserves over the past few years thanks to the rapid development of the local economy since the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) in 1999.
“Macau has close connections with the economies of Portuguese-speaking countries …undoubtedly Macau should play an active role,” he said, pointing out that over the past few years the low returns when investing the government’s financial reserves have drawn a great deal of criticism.
“Thus the government should invest in projects or economic activities that come under the One Belt, One Road policy,” he said, adding there was no need for the local government to worry about possible risks when investing in infrastructure projects under the guidance of the central government. (macaunews/macaupost)