Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said Thursday that Macau will adapt a “two-pronged” approach to increase its own capacity and strengthen regional cooperation as a key approach to ensuring sustainable development.
Chui made the remarks in his keynote speech at the Symposium on the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) in Hong Kong Thursday.
The local governments of Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau co-hosted the half-day symposium which also included a senior representative of the Department of Regional Economy of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The leaders of the three local governments and the NDRC representative as well as a senior official of the Office of the Leading Group for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay area addressed the symposium which was attended by hundreds of government officials, community leaders, businesspeople and journalists.
In his speech Chui said that the dissemination of the Planning Guidelines for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area was a “magnificent” undertaking for the future that has clarified the direction and content of the development of the Greater Bay Area, apart from also establishing new models of regional cooperation.
Chui said that the “biggest difference” in the nation’s GBA project compared to its counterparts overseas was the model of “One Country, Two Systems”, which he described as its “biggest advantage”.
As one of the central cities of the GBA, Chui said that Macau was now actively organising, articulating and accelerating all its GBA-related activities and also fully promoting the institutional advantage of the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” and the values of patriotism and loving Macau so that local people will be able to participate fully in the GBA development.
Chui mentioned five key elements for Macau’s active participation in the GBA development.
Chui said that Macau would continue to adopt a “two-pronged” policy to increase its own capacity and strengthen regional cooperation as a key approach to achieving sustainable development. In accordance with the planning guidelines for the GBA development, Chui said that Macau would continue to maximise its advantages as a world tourism and leisure centre as well as a service platform for business cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, with the aim of promoting the development and “good performance” of new industries and accelerating the development of adequate diversification of Macau’s economy.
Chui also said that Macau would continue to maintain a “pragmatic and enterprising attitude” and “play a pioneering role” in promoting the development of the GBA, adding that the GBA involving the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and three separate customs regions was demanding a pragmatic, flexible and creative spirit by all.
Chui pointed out that, for example, based on the existing cooperation between Macau and Guangdong, a new model of “Comprehensive Border Inspection” system at the Zhuhai-Macau border on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge has been set up.
Chui, who – as his Hong Kong counterpart – delivered his speech in Cantonese, also said that Macau was committed to the national development strategy and would enhance its advantage as an international city to consolidate its role as a platform for raising the GBA’s prestige and competitiveness. Chui pointed out that as Macau is located between the mainland’s domestic market and the international market, it will integrate the development of the GBA with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Chui said all this would strengthen the drive for the mainland market’s further reform and opening-up, which was also a sustainable plan for Macau’s long-term prosperity.
Chui also underlined that Macau will strengthen its support for technological innovation and participate actively in the setting-up of an international centre for technological innovation.
Chui also said Macau would promote the establishment of the “Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macau Science and Technology and Innovation Corridor”, and support the development of the GBA as a global centre for technological innovation.
Chui further pointed out that Macau will continue to pay close attention to youth development and make every effort to disseminate the GBA planning guidelines and encourage all social sectors’ active participation.
Chui said that young Macau people would be encouraged to study and work in the GBA region, adding that the government would promote a “going out and coming in” two-way cooperation, and also assist young people achieve self-development.
Chui also said that the government would hold public seminars and colloquia in Macau to clarify the meaning and content of the GBA planning guidelines and raise awareness about the latter among all social sectors.