Ho expects local Portuguese & English media to ‘play up their strengths in language & culture’

2024-01-24 03:05     Comment:4

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said yesterday that he expects Macau’s Portuguese- and English-language media to “stick to their role as a bridge and play up their strengths in language and culture to support the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) government’s work.”

Ho made the suggestion in a speech during a New Year luncheon hosted by his office for the local Portuguese- and English-language print and broadcasting media. 

The local non-Chinese-language media comprise three Portuguese- and two English-language dailies, public broadcaster TDM and a number of weeklies and magazines. 

The luncheon was attended by senior media representatives and high-ranking government officials including Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS) Director Inês Chan Lou, Deputy Director Louie Wong Lok I as well as Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong, Secretary for Social Affairs and Justice Elsie Ao Ieong U and Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosário. 

In his speech, Ho underlined that the Portuguese-and English-language media, “as important media for overseas and local readers and speakers of Portuguese and English to access information,” reported last year extensively on Macau’s post-pandemic trends and fresh developments as well as the local government’s foreign exchanges, whereby they “gave the outside world a better understanding of and more confidence in Macau’s development and raised the city’s visibility.” 

The chief executive also said that with their footprints covering the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) and Tibet over the past year, the local Portuguese- and English-language media presented the Chinese mainland’s “high-quality development and the long-standing Chinese cultural and social traditions to their readers with their first-hand experiences, drawing fully on their unique vantage point in the MSAR.”

Ho also said that journalists working for Macau’s Portuguese- and English-language media “have considerable expertise and a strong sense of responsibility as they have always functioned as a bridge to mirror the public’s voice, offered suggestions and cooperated with policy implementation, providing impetus for the government’s undertakings across the board.”

Ho added: “I would like to take this opportunity to express my cordial gratitude to all of you.”

The chief executive pointed out that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on October 1 and the 25th anniversary of Macau’s return to the motherland on December 20, apart from the fact that 2024 will also mark the completion of the first stage of the development goals of the Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin and the start of the Development Plan for Appropriate Economic Diversification of the MSAR (2024-2028). 

Moreover, Ho stressed, his government is involved in the ongoing preparations for the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Forum Macao). 

Informed sources told the Post yesterday that the conference would “most probably” take place in Macau in April and include a working visit by one of the central government’s top leaders.

Ho said that aside from Forum Macao’s ministerial conference, the government would do its “level best” to hold a raft of high-profile events, including the 7th meeting of the Macau-Portugal Joint Committee, “in order to expand Macau’s role as a platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries and bring their economic and trade cooperation to a new level.”

Besides, Ho emphasised that the local government “will unwaveringly safeguard national security and social stability” and accelerate the implementation of the major tasks and key products laid out in its “1+4”* strategy.  

The chief executive also said that “it is equally necessary to create a more harmonious society with continuous efforts to improve people’s livelihoods and address the deep-seated conflicts and problems in socio-economic development with constantly improved governance capabilities.” 

Ho also said he hoped that the local Portuguese- and English-language media will “report widely on the events to be held in celebration of the MSAR’s 25th anniversary and offer greater assistance in expanding overseas tourist markets…”. 

The chief executive pledged that the local government “will work together with the press to give more people a better understanding of the successful practice of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle in Macau, as well as the critical role that Macau plays as a platform connecting China with Portuguese-speaking countries, and demonstrate Macau’s characteristics of coexistence and mutual integration of diverse cultures.”  

*The government’s “1+4” appropriate diversification development strategy aims to enrich Macau’s function as “One Centre” for integrated tourism and leisure, while facilitating the development of four nascent industries – big health; modern financial services; high tech; and conventions, exhibitions, sport, and culture. 

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng addresses yesterday’s New Year luncheon hosted by his office for the local Portuguese- and English-language media at Galaxy Macau’s Ritz-Carlton hotel. – Photo: GCS

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng (front, centre) poses with high-ranking officials of his government and senior media representatives for a group photo on the sidelines of yesterday’s New Year luncheon hosted by his office at Galaxy Macau’s Ritz-Carlton hotel in Cotai. – Photo: GCS

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