Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said Tuesday that the leaders of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM), the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have all agreed to provide assistance and support to Macau regarding the direction of its development in the nation’s 13th Five-Year Plan.
The plan is slated to be passed by the National People’s Congress (NPC) in March. It will start next year.
Chui made the remarks when he met reporters in the Office of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) in Beijing to conclude his three-day trip, during which he visited the NDRC, MOFCOM and the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) of the State Council Tuesday, and the SATCM on Monday.
Chui met NDRC Vice Chairman Xu Xianping Tuesday. Xu told Chui that NDRC Chairman Xu Shaoshi was unable to meet him because of he had to receive a foreign visitor.
During a photo call at the start of the meeting, Xu said the commission had already had a great deal of successful co-operation with Macau in the past and hoped that both sides could discuss more thoroughly the topics that concerned them both when drawing up the 13th Five-Year Plan.
In response, Chui said that Macau had done a great deal of preparatory work over the past year for the 13th Five-Year Plan and hoped that what was proposed would be approved.
According to Chui, the proposal includes building Macau into a world tourism and leisure hub; upgrading its role as a platform for economic and trade services between China and Portuguese-speaking countries that would include the integration of creative and cultural industries with other sectors, a concept considered the key to promoting competitiveness in the development of the nation’s economy and drive enterprises’ growth; further promoting measures under the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), particularly in trade liberalisation and structural reforms to help expand business networks with Macau’s small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and enhancing co-operation between Guangdong and Macau on a free trade zone (FTZ) in Guangdong.
Chui said that his government had already formally submitted its proposal for Macau’s part in the nation’s 13th Five-Year Plan and the government would soon be meeting Guangdong officials to discuss matters concerning the joint development of Hengqin and Nansha, based on the central government’s guidelines.
Nansha is a special development district of Guangzhou. The central government has urged Macau to play an active role in the development on Hengqin Island, which abuts Cotai, and Nansha.
Asked by reporters as to how the government could balance the pressure over 30 million visitor arrivals per year with its aim of promoting leisure tourism, Chui said that his government always paid close attention to local residents’quality of life when drafting its tourism policies. He also said the government was working on how to expand the city’s tourism carrying capacity in terms of strengthening the management of border checkpoints, increasing the number of hotel rooms and enhancing public transport networks, as well as implementing crowd control measures during holiday periods.
Chui’s entourage included Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac.
Chui is due to return to Macau Wednesday. (macaunews/macaupost)