Ireland hopes to share expertise in ‘common issues’ with Macau: minister

2017-03-14 08:01     Comment:0

Land reclamation, transportation, development work, heritage protection and flood relief are some of the “common issues” that Ireland shares with Macau, Irish Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief Seán Canney said yesterday.

Canney also said he hoped that his country will share its expertise in these common issues with Macau in the future.

Canney briefed some local media yesterday at the Military Club about his visit to Macau.

According to Canney, he met officials from the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) for an exchange of views on the challenges of development projects as well as flood relief as the local government was looking for how to erect flood defences.

Besides these, Canney said heritage protection was also an aspect where both Ireland and Macau could share each other’s expertise.

“[We] also discussed… what we [Canney’s office] do in our country – we look after state property and heritage sites and have a special responsibility for flood relief in our country. So we have a lot of common issues to discuss and share our expertise in,” Canney said, pointing out that in addition to government projects, he hopes to set up stronger ties with the local government in order to create more business opportunities for either side.

“For Ireland as an export-driven country, we have to look at all markets. We have to look at where we can do business. We’re an English-speaking nation, we are strong members of the European Union and I think we’re in a great position to actually develop a relationship with Asia including [mainland] China, Macau and Hong Kong,” he said, noting that after having gone through a major recession, Ireland was now enjoying a period of economic growth putting the Atlantic island nation in a favourable position.

Canney also said that while there will be UK-EU negotiations about Brexit over the next two years, the effect of which was yet to be seen, his country in the meantime needed to look out for more business opportunities to ensure continued economic growth.

“I think we have plenty of potential but what we need to do is make sure that we grow that potential and look at alternative markets and hopefully create more connectivity right throughout the world,” Canney said.

as growing stronger, with many working in the gaming industry. With its growing community, Irish culture is becoming more visible too as there will be a St Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday as well as the “greening” of the Ruins of St Paul’s, according to the minister. 

The activities are a part of the ongoing Irish Festival in Hong Kong and Macau, only the second year that it will be held. The festival is a collaborative effort led by the Consulate General of Ireland and the Emerald Fund with the support of Irish groups in Hong Kong and Macau.

Canney pointed out that four ministers have visited Macau over the past two years, which he described as a strong statement by the Irish government that Macau is the right place to set up amicable bonds and new lines of communication.

Other areas, according to Canney, where Ireland would like to see more exchanges between Ireland and Macau is education, while there are also business opportunities for exporting Irish food such as beef and dairy products to Macau, but especially Irish whiskey.   

“We have a huge potential to develop the whiskey market here in Macau,” Canney added.

Canney paid a one-day visit to Macau, after visiting Hong Kong and before a visit to Shanghai.

Ireland’s Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Flood Relief Seán Canney speaks to The Macau Post Daily at the Military Club yesterday. Photo: Monica Leong

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