Ho vows to optimise Macau’s industrial structure, strengthen its GBA role

2023-11-09 03:19     Comment:1

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng promised yesterday that Macau will further optimise its industrial structure and investment and business environment, as well as strengthen its role as one of the four major central cities of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) by taking up more responsibilities for the megalopolis 

Ho made the pledge in a speech by video link from Macau at the 2023 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area Global Investment Conference in Guangzhou. The two-day conference, which began yesterday, is jointly organised by the Guangdong provincial government and the Hong Kong and Macau special administrative region governments. 

The four major central GBA cities are Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macau. 

Ho said that Macau welcomes outstanding enterprises and high-quality projects from anywhere to choose Macau as their base to participate in the development and construction of Hengqin and share the GBA’s development dividends. 

Zhuhai’s Hengqin island includes the Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone. 

In his speech, Ho pointed out that President Xi Jinping said during an inspection visit to Guangdong in April this year that the GBA should become a strategic pivot of the nation’s new development pattern, a demonstration place for high-quality development, and a prominent place for Chinese-style modernisation.

Ho underlined Macau’s strategic positioning as “one centre, one platform and one base”, i.e., its role as a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure, a platform for China-Portuguese-speaking countries commercial and trade services, and an exchange and cooperation base with Chinese culture as its mainstream and co-existence of different cultures.

The chief executive, a former business community leader and former member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), also stressed Macau’s overall advantages as a free port and a separate customs territory under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle. 

Ho also highlighted the importance of the local government’s “1+4” development strategy striving to ensure the local economy’s appropriate diversification in line with the development of four new key industries, alongside the long-established entertainment and leisure sector, namely big health, modern finance, high-tech, and conventions and exhibition in conjunction with culture and sport. 

Ho described the Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin as an important platform for Macau to participate in the construction of the GBA, as well as for Macau’s further integration into the nation’s development.  

The chief executive underlined that within the GBA development drive, Macau has international resources to offer, while Hengqin is providing Macau with additional space. He said the aim was for both to share the fruit of their joint achievements. 

The 56,100-sqkm area consists of nine cities in Guangdong province and the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. The area has some 87 million inhabitants. With less than one percent of China’s land area, the GBA contributed about 11 percent of China’s economy last year, according to the Statista website. 

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng addresses the 2023 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area Global Investment Conference in Guangzhou by video link from Macau yesterday. – Photo: GCS

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