Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng on Monday met with the central government’s health and finance ministers to further strengthen cooperation between the mainland and Macao in the two areas.
Ho held discussions in Beijing with the National Health Commission (NHC) about closer cooperation between Macao’s Health Bureau (SSM) and the commission such as the latter assisting its local counterpart in the training of medical professionals and hospital management personnel.
The NHC is a cabinet-level executive entity of the State Council responsible for formulating the nation’s health policies.
In a working meeting with Ma Xiaowei, the minister in charge of the commission, Ho underlined that his government did its utmost to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement by the Macao Government Information Bureau (GCS) last night.
Ho said he was grateful for the commission’s assistance in tackling COVID-19, including its decision to send a team of professionals to Macao to study the local novel coronavirus disease situation.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of safeguarding public health, Ho noted. He pledged that his government will pay even greater attention to public health issues when formulating its overall policies.
Thanks to the central government’s strong support, Macao has been able to get COVID-19 under control, and stop it from spreading in the community, Ho pointed out.
In order to optimise the movement of people between Macao and Guangdong province, the governments of the two places are now mutually recognising the results generated by their respective online health-declaration systems, Ho underlined, adding that the Macao government was looking forward to expanding the framework for mutual recognition of health-declaration systems to the nation’s other provinces and regions.
Ho also briefed the commission on the local government’s measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 since the first case was confirmed in Macao in late January.
Ma promised that the commission will continue to support Macao in its effort to normalise the movement of people between Macao and the mainland. Additionally, the two sides will work more closely on disease-control and disease-prevention work, he said.
NHC minister praises Macao’s anti-COVID-19 strategy
Ma praised the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) for its overall strategy in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it was not an easy task for an open and densely-populated city such as Macao to maintain a level of zero local-infection cases. He said this was thanks to the prompt action taken by the Macao government, as well as the local community’s concerted effort.
In a separate meeting, Ho and Finance Minister Liu Kun discussed issues relating to Macao’s economic diversification, and the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone (GMICZ) planned for Hengqin island.
Ho said one of the goals of his working visit to Beijing was to present to various central government entities the concept of the GMICZ project, and to offer fresh insights into regional cooperation under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
The chief executive pointed out that Macao has a sound legal system and regulatory advantages. The management model of “Opening the first line and controlling the second line” would become a basis for cooperation between Macao and Hengqin, in particular in relation to the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) sector, and for other industries, he suggested.
The Macao government was looking forward to further support from the Ministry of Finance, in order for Macao to continue the development of a bond market and its specialised financial services.
Finance minister praises Macao’s post-1999 achievements
In Monday’s meeting, Liu praised Macao’s achievements since the establishment of the MSAR in 1999, and the successful implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle in Macao, the GCS statement underlined.
Liu said that two sides would work together more closely, so as to take full advantage of the central government’s measures supporting Macao’s development; thus helping Macao integrate further with the national development, and assisting Macao in its economic diversification drive.
Meeting with HKMAO director
According to the statement, Ho returned to Macao Monday evening. During his six-day visit to Beijing, he also met with the vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), Xia Baolong. Ho briefed Xia on Macao’s fight against COVID-19, its current economic situation, and progress in preparing the setting-up of the GMICZ in Hengqin. HKMAO Deputy Directors Zhang Xiaoming and Fu Ziying attended the meeting.
While in the capital, Ho also met with senior officials of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, the Ministry of Natural Resources, and the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), the statement said.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
PHOTO © Government Information Bureau (GCS)