The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, said the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Government would continue its work of offering strong support to Forum Macao, and to Forum Macao’s Permanent Secretariat.
Mr Ho made the remark on Thursday (27 January) during a meeting at the Government Headquarters with the Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao), Mr Ji Xianzheng.
During the meeting, the two officials exchanged views on how to deepen Macao’s bridging role in serving China and Portuguese-speaking countries, and how to promote further economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
Mr Ho said that since the establishment of Forum Macao, 18 years ago, Macao had made good use of its function as a platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, judging from the volume of trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries during the period.
The Chief Executive added that he looked forward to the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao, under the leadership of Mr Ji, extending further the commercial and trade exchanges between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
The Chief Executive additionally gave an update on Macao’s latest economic development, and the effectiveness of the MSAR Government’s anti-epidemic measures. The stringent controls applied by the MSAR Government over the past two years had been targeted at protecting the Macao public, said Mr Ho.
It had become clear as a result of the pandemic, that the city was over-reliant on the tourism industry, said Mr Ho. The MSAR Government would devote further effort in expediting adequate economic diversification. In 2021, the publication of the Master Plan of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin had helped establish the conditions to develop Macao further, and had created fresh opportunities for the city’s economic diversification.
During Thursday’s meeting, Mr Ji expressed his gratitude for the support given by the MSAR Government to Forum Macao, adding that all participating governments had paid great attention to Forum Macao’s work. Based on the path laid out by the five previous editions of the Ministerial Conference relating to Forum Macao, the body would continue with its founding objectives, and was committed to give greater play to Macao’s bridging role between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, and advancing trade levels between the two sides. Such steps would ultimately promote joint development of mainland China, Macao, and Portuguese-speaking countries.
Looking ahead, Forum Macao would step up its effort to support economic recovery in participating parties; to further ties and cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries; and to contribute further to Macao’s adequate economic diversification, said Mr Ji.
Mr Ji went on to say that – as a multilateral cooperation mechanism for forming consensus and encouraging joint development – Forum Macao would continue to gather opinions from various parties, and enhance initiatives to implement the decisions made during the past five editions of the Ministerial Conference. This was with an aim to innovate working methods, and to explore new areas to serve and respond to the development needs of each participant in Forum Macao.
Also present at the meeting were: Deputy Secretaries-General of the Permanent Secretariat, Mr Ding Tian, Mr Paulo do Espírito Santo, and Mr Casimiro de Jesus Pinto; Coordinator of the Executive Office, Mr He Meng; Coordinator of the Liaison Office and Representative of Cabo Verde, Mr Nuno Furtado; Coordinator of the Support Office, Ms Mok Iun Lei Teresa; Representative of Angola, Mr Eduardo Velasco Galiano; Representative of Guinea-Bissau, Mr Abdú Jaquité; Representative of Mozambique, Ms Francisca Reino; Representative of Portugal, Ms Maria João Bonifácio; Representative of São Tomé and Príncipe, Mr Gika Simão; and Representative of Timor-Leste, Mr Danilo Henriques.