Central People’s Government Liaison Office in Macau Director Fu Ziying said Tuesday that the central government attaches “unprecedentedly” high importance to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) development, adding that the GBA is bringing “unprecedented historic opportunities” to Macau’s future development.
Fu made the remarks while delivering a keynote speech at a GBA seminar held by the local government’s Policy Research and Regional Development Bureau (DSEPDR) at Macau.
Fu referred to what President Xi Jinping said before, namely to support Macau “to grab opportunities, develop new advantages, perform new functions, achieve new development, and achieve new contributions”.
In order to implement Xi’s expectations for Macau’s participation in the GBA development, Fu listed the following four pieces of advice:
Strengthening the development drive
Fu said that Macau should grab the historic opportunity and continue to strengthen the GBA development drive, adding that as a “core GBA city”, Macau should “fully utilise” the market, and “fully promote” Macau’s “adequate economic diversification”.
Fu also said that Macau should utilise its “unique advantages”, and continuously improve its “core competitiveness”. Fu underlined that the “One Country, Two Systems” principle was GBA’s “biggest feature” compared to its counterpart bay areas in the world, adding that it was also the GBA’s “biggest advantage”.
Fu also pointed out that Macau needed to “expand” its own advantages when participating in the GBA development, and “continuously improve” Macau’s “status and capabilities” in the GBA region.
Fu pointed out that Macau should utilise its “current resources” and “continuously deepen” regional cooperation. Fu said that Macau should “properly utilise” the advantages offered by the GBA and policies such as those concerning the Guangdong Free Trade Zone and Hengqin Island, adding the goal was to promote cooperation between Macau and Zhuhai, and between Macau and Hengqin, to achieve “win-win” development for both places.
Fu further pointed out that Macau should also improve people’s livelihoods, adding that the “fundamental starting point” of the GBA was “to offer a better development environment and create a better life” for the GBA residents.
Fu also underlined that Macau should take care of issues such as undeveloped plots of land, urban renewal, housing prices, traffic, and disaster prevention and relief, in order to “continuously improve Macau residents’ sense of gain and happiness”.
Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said in his speech that Macau should utilise its “own advantages”, and perform the functions of “core engine” in the GBA development.
Chui said that the GBA Outline Development Plan has given Macau a new “historic mission and duties in the current era”.
Concerning the GBA Outline Development Plan, Chui listed three measures:
(1) Performing the ‘core engine’ function
Chui noted that as the GBA Outline Development Plan identifies Macau as one of the “core engines” in the GBA, it showed the nation’s “high trust in, and expectations for” Macau, adding that Macau “must comprehend” how to perform the “core engine” function.
Chui referred to Xi’s previous statement that the “One Country, Two Systems” principle is the “biggest advantage” for Macau and Hong Kong and that the nation’s reform and opening-up is Macau and Hong Kong’s “biggest arena”, leading to Macau’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the GBA development.
Chui also stressed that how to understand the president’s words, and how to “fully perform” Macau’s “biggest advantage” in the GBA development, was “the question we first need to be clear about”.
(2) Building ‘one base’
Chui also pointed out that the GBA plan has endowed Macau with a mission in the current era to establish itself as a base of multiple cultures’ co-existence with Chinese culture as the mainstream.
Chui further pointed out that as there are many returned overseas Chinese in Macau and Macau also has close connections with Southeast Asian countries, Portuguese-speaking countries and the European Union, it should also “fully utilise” these advantages to promote cultural communication between East and West, and carry out its “special function” to strengthen people-to-people bonds.
(3) Innovation and technology corridor
Chui also underlined that the GBA plan includes the setting-up of the “Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macau Innovation and Technology Corridor”, with Macau being an important part of the “corridor”.
Chui pointed out that Macau should “fully utilise” the mainland’s scientific expertise and technology, and based on Macau’s current scientific conditions and platform, its scientific innovation development should be accelerated.
Dozens of senior government officials and scholars attended the symposium. Macau’s first chief executive, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee Vice-Chairman Edmund Ho Hau Wah was also present.(Macaunews)