Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac promised on Thursday that the government will continue to improve Macau’s MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) service standards and international competitiveness.
Leong underlined that at the same time Macau will use the advantages of its close relations with the Portuguese-speaking countries (PSCs), Southeast Asian countries, and the European Union (EU) to serve the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area’s (GBA) “high-quality going out” approach while jointly exploring overseas markets in the PSCs and countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Leong made the remarks while giving his opening speech at the opening ceremony of the 24th Macau International Trade and Investment Fair (24th MIF) and the 2019 Portuguese Speaking Countries Products and Services Exhibition (Macau) (2019PLPEX) at the Venetian in Cotai, based on the “fair-in-fair” concept.
The 3-day event is being held by the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) and ends on Saturday.
According to a statement by IPIM, Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government Director Fu Ziying, Foreign Ministry Commissioner of the Ministry Shen Beili, Legislative Assembly (AL) President Kou Hoi In, Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the PSCs (Macau) Secretary-General Xu Yingzhen, IPIM President Irene Lau Kuan Va and Executive Director Sam Lei Chou Sam, and a number of official representatives from the mainland and the PSCs attended the ceremony.
Leong pointed out that the MIF is one of Macau’s branded fairs for deepening regional cooperation and helping enterprises communicate with one another, adding that it has been continuously improved in terms of its exhibition scale, service quality, professionalism and the level of internationalisation in the past two decades.
Leong insisted that Macau’s MICE elements and contents have been enriched and their software and hardware infrastructure are nowadays better aligned with international standards.
‘Going out and bringing in’
According to the Macau, Leong also noted that the local MICE sector can create a “bridge” for businesses from Macau and the mainland to jointly “go out for and bring in” investments, and also provide a platform for the mainland to carry out two-way investments and conduct multilateral trade cooperation with the PSCs and countries and regions along the BRI, as well as to improve the quality and accelerate the development of the local MICE industry.
This year’s PLPEX has been further scaled up with more booths, and the “China-Portuguese-speaking Countries Cooperation Retrospective Exhibition” debuts to highlight Macau’s achievements as a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and the PSCs in promoting exchanges and cooperation in areas including featured finance, conventions and exhibitions, tourism, culture, education, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and other fields among businesses from the mainland, the PSCs and Macau.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the 20th anniversary of Macau’s return to the motherland and Macau is embracing more development opportunities, Leong said.
The outline development plan for the GBA, which was released early this year, positions Macau as “one centre, one platform and one base”, and the plan also lists Macau as one of the four core cities in the GBA and also as one of the “core engines” for regional development, which provides greater assistance to, and adds new requirements for Macau to accelerate its moderate economic diversification, Leong added.
“One centre, one platform and one base” refers to the central government’s aim for Macau to become a world tourism and leisure centre, a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and the PSCs, and a base for exchanges and cooperation where Chinese culture is the mainstream and diverse cultures coexist, according to previous announcements by the local government.