Macao and Guangdong will continue to seek to advance bilateral ties, and to bolster high-quality development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin.
The remarks were made on Friday (3 February) during a meeting in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, between the Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, the Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Mr Huang Kunming, and the Governor of Guangdong Province, Mr Wang Weizhong. Mr Ho on Friday led a Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Government delegation to Guangzhou.
During the meeting, Mr Ho thanked the Guangdong and Zhuhai authorities for their support and care for Macao, especially regarding epidemic prevention and control, helping to ensure stable supply of everyday goods to the MSAR during the period of the pandemic.
Thanks to the support of the Central Government and relaxation of COVID-19-related restrictions for inbound and outbound travel, Macao achieving positive momentum regarding local economic recovery, including recovery in the tourism sector, said Mr Ho. In addition, starting from Monday (6 February), cross-border travel between the mainland and the Hong Kong SAR, and between the mainland and the MSAR would resume fully, including the resumption of tour group operations for mainland residents travelling either to Hong Kong or to Macao. The latest measures would inject fresh vitality into Macao’s tourism sector and the local economy, added Mr Ho.
In the meeting, Mr Ho introduced Macao’s work to step up adequate economic diversification. He said Macao attached great importance to cooperation with Guangdong. During the past year, the two sides had worked closely to optimise work mechanisms; to strengthen communication and dialogue; and to advance pragmatically development for the Cooperation Zone in Hengqin.
In the year ahead, Macao expected to maintain momentum in development, helped by an abundance of opportunities. Macao was looking forward to maintaining close communication and cooperation with Guangdong, to seek breakthroughs in coordinating rules and mechanisms in place in each of the two sides, with a focus on rules and mechanisms related to “tier-specific management” and linked to livelihood issues. The two sides should advance efforts to implement the favourable measures introduced by the Central Government, while seeking additional supportive measures, in order to promote effectively the development of the Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, said Mr Ho.
The Chief Executive called for a closer partnership between Macao and Guangdong, in a bid to promote the joint development of the Cooperation Zone in Hengqin. There should also be close cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, in order to push forward the development of the Greater Bay Area as part of the country’s overall development.
Speaking during the meeting, Secretary Huang said that, under the leadership of the Central Government, Guangdong and Macao had, in recent years, achieved closer ties and improved cooperation, particularly in relation to epidemic prevention and control, infrastructure construction, science and technology, economy and trade, social affairs, and issues concerning people’s livelihood. Mr Huang noted that the development of the Cooperation Zone in Hengqin had made a strong start, achieving good momentum.
The current year would be the first calendar year of full implementation of the spirit of the CPC 20th National Congress. Work related to promoting the development of the Cooperation Zone in Hengqin would enter a critical stage and bring about new and major opportunities for practical cooperation between Guangdong and Macao, Mr Huang said.
Guangdong would make every effort to promote the construction of the Greater Bay Area in the new era, and to accelerate the development of the Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, stressed Mr Huang. Guangdong would continue to strengthen cooperation with Macao in terms of facilitating fintech development; introducing measures to encourage greater accessibility and connectivity between the two places; jointly exploring overseas markets; launching joint cultural and tourism activities, and strengthening youth exchanges. The two sides should make good use of the “Northbound Travel for Macao Vehicles” policy and of the full resumption of travel between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, in order to facilitate flows of people, goods, funds, and information, therefore fostering the integrated development of Macao and Hengqin.
Secretary Huang hoped that Guangdong and Macao would strengthen cooperation mechanisms, in a bid to promote the Greater Bay Area as an international first-class bay area and a world-class city cluster. Such joint efforts would help ensure the steady implementation of the “One country, two systems” principle, backed by a strong foundation in terms of hardware and technology, and public opinion support.
Several principal officials of the MSAR Government joined the meeting in Guangzhou. Leading officials respectively of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee, of the Guangdong Government, and of the Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, also attended the meeting.