The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, today affirmed the role of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao), known as Forum Macao, in helping Macao realise its strategic position as a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries (the “one platform” policy).
Mr Ho made the remarks during a speech delivered at a reception to mark the 20th anniversary of Forum Macao.
The Chief Executive stated that, in the context of the continuous growth in the activities of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) as a platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, it was hoped Forum Macao would make even better use of the MSAR’s unique advantages, and opportunities arising from the development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, in conjunction with Macao’s “1+4” strategy for appropriate economic diversification. This, he said, would help Macao enterprises to play a greater role in promoting economic and trade cooperation between the mainland and the Portuguese-speaking countries, and facilitating people-to-people exchange among these countries.
This year was of great significance to the MSAR, as 2023 marked the beginning of implementation of the guidelines outlined respectively in the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the recently-concluded “Two Sessions”, as well as a critical period for implementation of the 2nd Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development of the MSAR.
With the strong support of the country, and the advantage of the Forum Macao mechanism, there would be new impetus for advancing Macao’s role as a trade and service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, added Mr Ho.
Macao – by making use of the MSAR’s inherent strengths and the development path set out for Forum Macao since its founding two decades ago – had been strengthening its role in linking China and the Portuguese-speaking countries. The support of the Central Government and the country’s Ministry of Commerce had been indivisible elements in Macao’s growing role as a platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries. So had the support of the governments of those Portuguese-speaking countries, as well as the effort made by successive leaders of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao.
The economic and commercial cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries had achieved encouraging results, with strengthened ties in various fields. All these efforts had helped in boosting Macao’s influence in the international community, and in promoting the city’s development.
The Chief Executive stressed the MSAR Government strictly adhered to the guidelines issued at the 20th CPC National Congress and the "Two Sessions”, prioritising Macao’s strategic positions as “one centre, one platform, and one base”, while making full use of the favourable policies and measures introduced by the Central Government in order further to integrate the city into overall national development.
The 20th anniversary of Forum Macao was not only a historic milestone, but also a prime moment for high-quality advances in Macao’s role of linking China and the Portuguese-speaking countries, said Mr Ho.
The MSAR Government would give its full support to assisting the work of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao, and would spare no effort in preparing for the next edition of the Ministerial Meeting of Forum Macao.
Likewise, the MSAR Government would spare no effort in expanding Macao’s role as a platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries. This would contribute to an all-round deepening of cooperation in economic, commercial, and cultural affairs, and to promotion of people-to-people exchanges among those countries. The result would be a joint exploration of fresh opportunities, in the interests of a brighter future for all, Mr Ho added.