Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On Monday called on Macau people for their unremitting efforts to transform their love for the city into a driving force for the development of a more prosperous city.
In his New Year message, Chui said the government would continue to perform its duties in a diligent and courageous way, and would make its best effort to successfully face any challenges that might arise in 2018.
In the new year, the government would spare no effort to propel the city’s economic development, and to improve the city’s governance and the wellbeing of its population, in order to make Macau a better home for everyone.
2017 was a year in which local people showed a resolute and tireless spirit, Chui said.
It was also a year that provided the community with difficult experiences from which lessons were learnt, the chief executive, who holds a doctorate in Public Health, said.
On August 23, Macau was battered by Super Typhoon Hato – the strongest storm in the city since 1953, causing 10 deaths and resulting in heavy economic losses.
Chui praised the strength and perseverance that Macau people displayed while dealing with the aftermath of Hato, noting that the city had not been hit by a natural disaster of such proportion in many decades.
He spoke highly of the support provided by the central government and other mainland authorities for their relief work to alleviate Hato’s impact and restore normality in Macau.
The storm did not undermine the government’s determination and commitment to making Macau a better home for everyone, said Chui, who will celebrate his 61st birthday this month.
The government established, shortly after the typhoon, the Commission for Reviewing and Monitoring the Improvements of the Response Mechanism to Major Disasters, in order to review the city’s disaster response mechanism system.
In the year ahead, Chui said, his government would prioritise tasks related to making Macau a safer place such as by setting up a long-term mechanism for preventing and mitigating public emergencies, optimising the city’s infrastructure, improving the response mechanism in case of public emergencies via short-, medium-, and long-term measures, and promoting further safety awareness among the general public.
Reviewing last year’s achievements, Chui noted that Macau maintained steady economic growth, sound public finances and a high employment rate. The strong support of the central government continued to be crucial to the city’s ongoing achievements, he added.
To boost the city’s development further, Chui said the government would strictly adhere to the “one country” principle while taking full advantage of the benefits offered by the “two systems” model.
In 2017, the government established the Working Committee for the Development of the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative to advance Macau’s contribution to the development of the country’s tricontinental Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
Chui said his government was also committed to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), and to the integration of Macau’s strategic goals with the nation’s overall development strategies.
Such goals include, according to Chui, the transformation of Macau into a world centre of tourism and leisure, and a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
On behalf of the government, Chui extended his sincere wishes of a prosperous New Year to the Macau people. Chui also expressed gratitude to residents and public servants, in particular those who needed to work round the clock to provide services during the holiday period.