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CE: Macao, Zhejiang to explore jointly Portuguese-speaking countries’ market

MACAU, June 27 - The Government will continue to help enterprises in Macao and in Zhejiang Province jointly to explore opportunities available in Portuguese-speaking countries, with a view to bolstering Macao’s function as a platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.

This would also enable Macao and Portuguese-speaking countries to pursue fresh development opportunities arising from China’s new round of reform and opening up. In turn, these efforts would complement the country’s dual-circulation development pattern, said the Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng.

Mr Ho today delivered a speech at the “2023 Zhejiang-Macao-Portuguese-Speaking Countries Economic and Trade Co-operation and Exchange Conference”. It was organised in Macao by the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Zhejiang Government. The Secretary of the CPC Zhejiang Provincial Committee and Chairman of the Standing Committee of Zhejiang Provincial People's Congress, Mr Yi Lianhong, also attended the event.

In his address, Mr Ho said Zhejiang and Macao had long insisted on complementing their respective strengths through collaboration, while continuously deepening economic and trade relations and personnel exchanges.

Such a good foundation had fostered cooperation, said Mr Ho. In the first four months of 2023, the number of tourists visiting Macao from Zhejiang increased by nearly 4.3 times year-on-year. The aggregate volume of imported and exported goods via Zhejiang-Macao trade increased by about 65.9 percent year-on-year. Zhejiang actively utilised Macao’s platform in convention and conference and the city’s bridging role in serving China and Portuguese-speaking countries as ways to deepen its exchanges and cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries. This year as of April, the trade volume between Zhejiang and Portuguese-speaking countries totalled 52.37 billion renminbi, representing a year-on-year rise of about 23.7 percent.

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries (Macao), and the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries was under preparation, noted Mr Ho.

In alignment with Macao’s “One Centre, One Platform, One Base” strategic positions, the Government was pressing ahead with the city’s "1+4" appropriate diversification development plan. It aimed to enrich Macao’s function as “One Centre” for integrated tourism and leisure, while facilitating the development of four nascent industries, namely the “Big Health” industry; modern financial services; high and new technology; and convention and exhibition, sports, and the commercial and trade industries.

The Government had been implementing its 100-billion-pataca investment plan in an orderly manner, said Mr Ho. Effort had been made to increase non-gaming offerings at integrated tourism and leisure enterprises, and to expand the base of tourists drawn from overseas. Meanwhile, the Government was formulating its “Development Plan for Appropriate Economic Diversification of the Macao Special Administrative Region (2024-2028)”.

The Chief Executive went on to say 2023 was the first full calendar year in which a path in accordance with the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the CPC was being implemented. It was also a crucial year for the development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, in terms of realising goals in the first phase. He listed a number of favourable initiatives announced already this year and said the Cooperation Zone had seen good progress in its development. Mr Ho said Zhejiang enterprises were welcome to take part in the development of the Cooperation Zone.

Macao had seen significant increase in tourist arrivals since the start of the year, following the resumption of pre-COVID-19 protocols at boundary crossings, said Mr Ho. Macao had been actively promoting recovery of its inbound tourism market, including via promotion domestically and overseas, with a view to boosting socioeconomic recovery.

Looking ahead, Macao would spare no effort to seize fresh opportunities from the country’s development, and to give better play to the city’s inherent advantages. Macao would work closely with Zhejiang to advance mutual ties to a higher level, and with a wider scope. This was in order to contribute jointly to the goal of comprehensively promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernisation, added Mr Ho.

Prior to the “2023 Zhejiang-Macao-Portuguese-Speaking Countries Economic and Trade Co-operation and Exchange Conference”, the Chief Executive had a meeting with Mr Yi Lianhong, to exchange views on how to promote cooperation and exchange between Macao and Zhejiang, and how to take advantage of Macao’s bridging role, in order to help enterprises in Macao and in Zhenjiang to explore Portuguese-speaking countries.