Think tank head Lao Pun Lap said he hoped the government’s first ever Five-Year Development Plan will become a “joint action agenda” for the government and the community at large, adding that the government would adopt “more open, transparent and interactive” ways to collect public opinion on the plan.
Lao, who heads the government’s Policy Research Office, made the remarks during a press conference at Government Headquarters.
Government officials – Lao, Lei Ngan Leng and U Man Fong, both advisors to the office of Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, and Peter Ung Hoi Ian, vice-director of the Policy Research Office – jointly presided over the press conference to announce the proposed Five-Year Development Plan (2016-2020).
According to information released on Tuesday, the plan aims to lay down a blueprint for how the city can achieve its aims of becoming a world centre of tourism and leisure, and a trade and economic co-operation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries (collectively known as “centre and platform” policies).
The office carried out a public consultation last year on the incipient version of the plan and received 564 opinions and suggestions from civic associations and residents during the three-month consultation period, which began on November 17.
The government says in the plan’s draft version that in order to transform Macau into a city with an international standard of living and working conditions, transport, tourism and entertainment, it will endeavour to realise seven development goals: maintaining steady economic growth, improving the city’s industrial structure, transforming Macau into a world centre of tourism and leisure, enhancing the quality of residents’ livelihoods, raising education standards, stepping up environmental protection, and improving governance efficiency, according to the press conference.
Responding to reporters’ questions as to why the plan did not include specific indicators to show how the goals could be achieved, and that some residents were worried that the government might be unable to achieve the plan’s seven aims, Lao said that since the plan is focused on setting development goals, “no specific data or indictors are given”.
“The draft is not the final version …it [the plan] will be better after absorbing public opinion. There will be a special group tasked with analysing public opinion and reflect residents’ views to the Committee for the Development of the World Centre of Tourism and Leisure,” Lao said.
“After more public opinion has been collected about the plan …I believe the plan will become a joint action agenda [for the community and the government],” Lao added.