Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac has vowed that Macau will strengthen cooperation with its Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) “brother” provinces and regions so that they can benefit together from the opportunities being generated by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), according to a statement by the Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS).
Leong also said that the PPRD cooperation model would “accelerate systematic innovation” and promote “development coordination”, thereby elevating cooperation among the 11 participating provinces and regions to a “new level”.
Leong made the remarks in his speech at the 2019 Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Cooperation and Development Forum on Friday in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region.
The PPRD region, which covers an area that produces around one-third of the country’s GDP, comprises the provinces of Fujian, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as well as the Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions. Therefore, the PPRD is also known as “9+2” – same as the GBA, which comprises nine cities in Guangdong, as well as Hong Kong and Macau.
The PPRD’s eight provincial governors, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Chairman Chen Wu and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor attended the forum. Leong represented Macau at the forum as Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On was unable to attend.
According to the GCS statement, Leong said that thanks to the “tremendous” support from the central government and the fraternal PPRD provinces and regions, in recent years Macau has been able to “continually accelerate” its own development, improve people’s livelihoods and grow its economy.
Jointly exploring PSC markets
Leong also said that Macau has been developing its double role as a world tourism and leisure centre and a business service platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries (PSCs), based on a directive by the central government, the statement noted.
According to the statement, Leong underlined that Macau is “actively cooperating” in the formulation and implementation of the Outline Development Plan for the GBA and “highly values” ever closer cooperation with its brother cities, provinces and regions of the GBA and PPRD.
According to the Macau Post Daily, Leong stressed that Macau is determined to “play well” its role as a business service platform between China and the PSCs, in order to assist the PPRD provinces and regions in “jointly exploring” the PSC markets in trade and the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) and TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) sectors, the statement noted.
Xinhua said in a report on Friday that during the meeting, the 11 PPRD members reached a consensus on “jointly promoting” the development of the GBA and strengthening the connectivity of infrastructure, adding that the members also agreed to set up a regional collaborative industrial system and innovation network, and also to promote tourism cooperation, market integration and ecological progress.