Monday’s Guangdong-Macau Cooperation Joint Conference has resulted in nine agreements covering the next phase of cooperation between the two areas, and reinforced their efforts to press ahead with the objectives envisaged under the central government’s Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), according to a statement by the Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS).
Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On and Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui headed the respective government delegations at the meeting, which took place at the East Asian Games Dome in Cotai.
The key areas for cooperation are included in the Major Tasks in 2019 for Implementing the Framework Agreement on Cooperation between Guangdong and Macau, signed, the statement pointed out.
The eight other agreements cover Macau-Zhuhai cooperation; a subsidy scheme for science and technology projects; forestry development cooperation; health cooperation; youth exchanges; census cooperation; construction of floodgates at Macau’s Inner Harbour; and intellectual property.
According to the agreements, Macau and Guangdong agreed to optimise the mechanisms for advancing the GBA development project; create a greater number of avenues for cooperation to enable Guangdong to assist in Macau’s efforts at achieving adequate economic diversification; and offer further support for advances in the science and technology sector and other innovation-linked industries in order to develop the GBA as an international science and technology hub, the statement noted.
In his opening remarks delivered at the meeting, Chui “expressed confidence that there will be steady progress regarding Guangdong-Macau ties, due to the concerted effort from both sides in the pursuit of goals relating to major national development strategies,” the statement said.
Chui added, according to the statement, that yesterday’s joint conference – being held at a crucial time after the publication of the GBA outline development plan – illustrated the dedication of both sides to intensifying bilateral ties.
In his address, Chui underlined Macau’s commitment to further cooperation in the development of various investment zones in Guangdong, such as Hengqin in Zhuhai, Cuiheng in Zhongshan, Nansha in Guangzhou, and Daguang Bay in Jiangmen.
The statement emphasised that the bilateral cooperation efforts include greater support for young people to establish innovation-driven projects and businesses, as well as support for technological innovation in general. The joint efforts also seek to diversify cooperation and foster the stability and prosperity of the two places, the statement noted.
Addressing the meeting, Ma pointed out that the GBA has created a significant opportunity for Guangdong-Macau cooperation in a new era.
According to the statement, Ma added that under the GBA initiative, the two sides were achieving closer economic and trade ties, deepening liberalisation of trade in services, and also enhancing cooperation platforms and advancement efforts regarding a raft of infrastructure projects. All these efforts were taking bilateral ties along a practical and effective path, Ma was quoted as saying.
After the meeting, Macau Policy Research and Regional Development Bureau Mi Jian told the media that both sides had made progress in terms of their cooperation models.
Mi pointed out that the five-square-kilometre Guangdong-Macau Cooperation Industrial Park – located on Zhuhai’s Hengqin island – will have 2.57 square kilometres set aside for Macau-led projects, under the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, according to the statement.
Mi also gave an update on infrastructure projects for improving connectivity between Macau and other GBA cities. He said that Macau and Guangdong would strive to complete construction of their new land border checkpoint by the end of the year. In addition, Mi noted, the central government has granted approval in principle to a proposal for relocation of the Lotus Flower Bridge Checkpoint linking Cotai and Hengqin.
The Guangdong-Macau Cooperation Joint Conference mechanism was established in 2003. Meetings are convened and chaired jointly by the Chief Executive of Macao and the Governor of Guangdong. The joint conference meetings are slated to be held once a year for discussions on the way forward for further cooperation and regarding major projects. Macau and Guangdong host the meetings in turn.(Macaunews)