Macao, Dongguan and Huizhou to enhance their contribution to Greater Bay Area
The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, met with officials in Dongguan and Huizhou, on Sunday (10 January), to discuss how to advance Macao’s respective bilateral ties with those places, in order to further the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area).
Mr Ho is leading an official Macao delegation on a four-day tour to cities within Guangdong Province, places that form part of the Greater Bay Area. On the third day of the tour, upon arrival in Dongguan, Mr Ho paid a visit to a telecommunications company based there. Later, the Macao delegation visited Dongguan Binhaiwan Bay Area to learn more about its planning and the progress of its construction.
After the site visits, the Chief Executive met with the Secretary of the Dongguan Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Dongguan Municipal People's Congress, Mr Liang Weidong, and the Mayor of Dongguan, Mr Xiao Yafei.
During the meeting, Mr Ho thanked Dongguan for its support during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying its guarantee to Macao of a stable supply of daily necessities had helped Macao maintain its social stability.
Macao was a safe city in terms of risk from COVID-19, and had recorded zero local cases for more than 286 consecutive days. Nonetheless, the pandemic had seriously affected Macao’s economy. The Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) would make further efforts to define a path for the city’s development, with the aim of facilitating adequate diversification of the local economy, Mr Ho said. The healthcare sector, modern financial services, and information technology were the three major economic fields the Macao SAR Government wished to see developed.
The Chief Executive shared his insights on cooperation in relation to scientific technology, and development of innovation-related sectors. Dongguan had its established markets and demand for its services and products; Macao had sound capabilities in research and development. Dongguan also had a solid foundation in manufacturing and production. There would be vast opportunities for collaboration between the two cities in terms of combining their capabilities.
With regard to a modern services sector, Mr Ho said Macao had a well-developed hotel industry with advanced management systems. The two cities could foster cooperation in the provision of service-industry training, he added.
Secretary Liang congratulated Macao on the SAR’s effective deployment of steps to contain COVID-19. Dongguan had been able to maintain a certain level of development momentum, despite the pandemic, thanks to the unprecedented opportunities offered to the city under the Greater Bay Area initiative, he said.
Mr Liang also said Dongguan and Macao should work together to enhance ties in relation to cultural affairs and economic matters, within the Greater Bay Area framework. Aside from industrial cooperation, the two cities could make further progress in relation to provision of modern services, he added. Furthermore, Macao’s unique link with Portuguese-speaking countries could help Dongguan in exploring fresh economic and trade relations, and markets.
Later in the day, the delegation went to Huizhou, where the Chief Executive paid a visit to the semiconductor-display production base of a technology company. While in Huizhou, Mr Ho met with the Secretary of the CPC Huizhou Municipal Committee and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Huizhou Municipal People's Congress, Mr Li Yiwei.
Macao and Huizhou officials exchanged views on industrial cooperation and scientific technology, and innovation-base industries, as well as commercialisation of scientific research projects.
During the meeting with Huizhou officials, Mr Ho noted Huizhou was one of the leading industrial cities within Guangdong Province, and had well-developed production chains and production bases. Macao had sound research capabilities and four State Key Laboratories, respectively researching traditional Chinese medicine, microelectronics, the Internet of things for a smart city, and planetary sciences. Macao and Huizhou could make further effort towards commercialisation of scientific research projects, to the benefit of both places.
Mr Ho expressed gratitude to Huizhou for its support during the pandemic, the latter a scenario that had seriously affected Macao. He reiterated that Macao was a safe city in terms of risk from COVID-19, and had recorded zero local cases for days.
In order to speed up socio-economic recovery, and for the sake of Macao’s long-term development, the Macao SAR Government was striving to redefine the overall planning of the city’s economic structure; with healthcare, modern financial services, and information technology being three major sectors focused upon.
During the meeting, Secretary Li gave a briefing on the latest developments in Huizhou and the city’s plans. Huizhou was currently accelerating development of new materials stemming from the petrochemicals sector, work in the field of electronic information, and the healthcare sector. A goal was to lower the cost of production in those fields, and to encourage a greater number of companies in those sectors to base themselves in Huizhou.
Secretary Li also talked about cooperation in traditional Chinese medicine, saying Huizhou had a vast amount of land and some agricultural land had been turned into plots to cultivate herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine. He added he looked forward to the two cities strengthening exchanges in relation to people engaged in the sector, and in relation to technology employed in it.
Members of the Macao delegation visited Foshans included: the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Mr Lei Wai Nong; the Chief-of-Office of the Chief Executive’s Office, Ms Hoi Lai Fong; the Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; the Director of the Macao Economic Bureau, Mr Tai Kin Ip; the Director of the Protocol, Public Relations and External Affairs Office, Ms Lei Ut Mui; the President of the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, Mr Lau Wai Meng; and the Director of the Government Information Bureau, Ms Chan Lou.