Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said Thursday that Macau will further strengthen its partnership with Zhuhai to jointly strengthen the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA).
According to a statement by the Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS), Leong made the remarks during the “Zhuhai-Macau 2018 Cooperation Meeting” in Zhuhai yesterday.
Leong and Zhuhai Mayor Yao Yisheng agreed that with the forthcoming launch of the development plan for the GBA, the two adjoining cities, based on close cooperation in the past, will seize opportunities offered by the initiative and strengthen communication to co-develop the area and further raise the level of cooperation.
Both sides also vowed to create for the two cities’ residents, particularly for professionals, young people and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), “better spaces” for their development and livelihood.
Yao was appointed as Zhuhai mayor in September last year.
Leong also said, according to the statement, that in order to improve the existing Macau-Zhuhai cooperation mechanism and strengthen project planning and policy coordination on both sides, there were “five links” that must be implemented: promoting policy communication, infrastructure connectivity, free flow of trade, financial integration, and understanding among peoples.
These “five links” are also part of the strategy of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
During the meeting, three memoranda were signed by officials from Macau and Zhuhai, namely the “Framework Memorandum of Cooperation on the Internship and Employment Projects of Macau Youth in Zhuhai”, “Framework Memorandum for Economic and Trade Cooperation and Investment between Macau and Zhuhai,” and “Framework Memorandum on Financial Cooperation between Macau and Zhuhai”.
Leong also said that Zhuhai was an ideal platform for local youths to enter the mainland, to develop and integrate themselves into the national development environment, and to seek employment opportunities in the GBA context, adding that the youth-related memorandum signed at the meeting would encourage the placement of trainees and the employment of young people from Macau in Zhuhai.
Leong also noted, according to the statement, that Macau and Zhuhai needed to strengthen their cooperation in the development of Hengqin Island, set up a Pilot Demonstration Zone of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Consolidated Cooperation on the island to foster mutual collaboration in terms of the innovation of science and technology, apart from joint participation in the project to establish an international science and technology innovation centre in the Greater Bay Area.
Leong also said that with the synergy of the advantages of the two cities, Macau and Zhuhai could cooperate closely, in line with the national development plan, to attract foreign investment coming in and promote relevant enterprises going global.
During his one-day working visit to the neighbouring city, Leong also held talks with Zhuhai Communist Party of China (CPC) Committee Secretary Guo Yonghang.
The Greater Bay Area refers to the central government’s 2017 scheme to link the cities of Hong Kong, Macau, Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Zhaoqing, Zhongshan and Zhuhai into an integrated economic and business hub, comprising three different jurisdictions.