After being sworn in on Friday, newly installed Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said on Monday that the special administrative region is eager to expand economic cooperation and cultural exchanges with neighboring Guangdong province.
Ho was leading a large trade delegation to Guangzhou, the provincial capital.
The prosperous province, a prime example of the success of China’s reform and opening-up, was the first place on the Chinese mainland Ho visited after taking office.
He met with Li Xi, Party secretary of Guangdong, and provincial governor Ma Xingrui to discuss how to expand economic ties between the two regions amid Macau’s ambitious task of diversifying its economy. Currently, Macau relies primarily on the gaming and tourism sectors for economic development.
Li said the province fully supports Macau’s economic development and urged both sides to seize the golden opportunities brought by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in the coming years.
“Guangdong expects to accelerate the construction of the Hengqin New Area, which is adjacent to Macau,” Li said, adding that investors from Macau are also playing an important role in the creation of an industrial park devoted to the science and technology of traditional Chinese medicine.
Guangdong wants to increase the infrastructure connectivity of the two regions and expand exchanges of young people to take cooperation to a new level, he said.
According to China Daily ,Ho Iat Seng said Macau would further consolidate the already close Guangdong-Macau economic and trade relationship and deepen cooperation in investment, culture and personal exchanges.
Ho and his delegation, which included senior officials and business executives, also visited major projects funded by Macau investors in Zhuhai before ending their two day tour and returning to Macau .
Ho is the third chief executive of Macau. He follows Ho Hau-wah and his immediate predecessor, Chui Sai On.
The Hengqin New Area, home to one of Guangdong’s pilot free trade zones, is planned as a green-themed health and tourism island.
It is expected to play an important role in supporting Macau’s ambition to become an international leisure and tourism center in the years ahead.
The new area will strive to expand its cooperation with investors from Hong Kong and Macau to achieve that goal.
Hengqin has so far attracted about 3,100 companies from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Of those, more than half are funded by money from Macau.
The University of Macauhas established a campus in Hengqin, completed in 2013, that is 20 times larger than its previous campus in Macau.