Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday he was sure that Macau’s future will be even better.
On the second day of his three-day working visit, Li visited a raft of places.
In the morning, Li presided over a plaque-unveiling ceremony to mark the launch of the construction of a government complex on two plots in Nam Van, to house the facilities for the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, according to a statement from the Government Information Bureau (GCS) on Tuesday.
Li attended the plaque-unveiling ceremony at the Macau East Asian Games Dome in Cotai.
The plots, called C15 and C16, are next to the Legislative Assembly.
Early last month, the government announced the legal conditions for the C15 and C16 plots where the government will construct the complex which will consist of two buildings, one 18 metres tall and the other with a height of 25.9 metres.
According to the GCS statement, the complex will occupy an area of about 14,200 square metres. The new facility will serve as the meeting venue for future forums.
The complex will house an exhibition centre for food products from Portuguese-speaking countries (PSCs), a business service centre for enterprises from China and PSCs, a training centre, an information centre, and an exhibition hall showcasing the relationship between China and PSCs, as well as a room to stage exhibitions about Macau’s urban development.
In the morning, Li delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and PSCs at the dome.
Among the various places Li visited, about half of which were open to the media.
After attending the forum, Li visited the Ruins of St. Paul’s in the afternoon, where residents and tourists asked the premier to have his photograph taken with them.
Li arrived at the city’s landmark at about 3 p.m., accompanied by Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng, and Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) President Guilherme Ung Vai Meng.
After Ung briefed Li about the landmark’s history, tourists and residents took photos with Li in front of the façade.
Asked by reporters how he felt about Macau, Li said: “Macau is very beautiful. It has special characteristics. It is a place where East meets West.
“It used to be our gateway. Macau will be more open in the future! It [Macau’s future] will surely be better! I wish Macau compatriots good fortune and health!” Li said.
Leong Chan Kong, the president of Koi Kei Bakery, told reporters that Li had stayed at his shop for about 10 minutes and had bought some Portuguese egg tarts, adding that Li said Portuguese egg tarts are popular in the mainland.
Besides, Kou Pui Kei, the owner of Pastelaria Fong Kei – a pastry shop, told reporters that Li had bought some sweetheart cakes, a traditional Cantonese delicacy. Li paid 50 patacas for a box of sweetheart cakes which usually sells for 38 patacas, Kou said.
According to Kou, his pastry shop opened in the late 19th century.
Meanwhile, the shop owners told Li they hoped the central government will allow more tourists to visit Macau.
Both Kou and Leong told reporters they had asked Li to allow more mainland tourists to visit the city.
Lam Kuok Kuan, the owner of Chan Chan Restaurant, said he had told Li that the local economy was bad and he asked Li to draft some policies to allow more visitors to come to the city.
Lam said: “After listening to me, Li smiled and said ‘okay, okay’”.
Asked by reporters how he felt about Li’s answer, Lam said he felt uncertain about it because the central government might have their own plans when making policies.
A tourist from Harbin city, surnamed Fu, who shook hands with the premier after Li came out of a souvenir shop, told reporters that he did not know in advance Li would tour Rua do Cunha. Fu said: “When I said ‘Hello, Premier’, he replied ‘Hello everyone’.”
After visiting the Ruins of St Paul’s, Li went up on to the roof of the Macau Grand Prix Building opposite the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, where he viewed the construction progress of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
On the rooftop, Li was briefed by Infrastructure Development Office (GDI) Director Chau Vai Man about the construction of the bridge, accompanied by Chui and Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosario.
Chau explained to Li the details on an information board set up on the rooftop, after which Li walked to the edge of the roof and viewed the bridge and its border checkpoint facilities. Li stayed at the Macau Grand Prix Building for about 10 minutes.
The construction of the bridge is expected to be completed by the end of next year.
Meanwhile, Li also visited a number of places, which were not open to general media coverage.
According to several separate GCS statements, Li also visited the Macau Museum, Fortress Hill, Keang Peng School, and a local family.
According to one of the GCS statements, the school principal briefed Li about the principles and ideas of running the school. After a presentation on pupils’ inventions, Li commented that the pupils are the future of Macau and the motherland, the statement said.
(Macau News / The Macau Post Daily)