Ho underlines Macau’s platform role in nation’s dual cycle strategy

2020-10-01 18:21     Comment:0

Macau will give better play to its platform role in serving the nation’s “dual cycle” development pattern that is based on a domestic and an international economic cycle, but with the domestic cycle being the mainstay, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said in a speech at Thursday’s National Day reception, according to a statement by the Macau Government Information Bureau (GCS). 

In his speech, Ho reaffirmed Macau’s firm commitment to contributing to the domestic cycle under the central authorities’ development strategy, while advancing the special administrative region’s involvement in the progress of the country’s overall development.

The reception, hosted by the government of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), was held at the China-Portuguese-speaking Countries Economic and Trade Service Platform Complex, with some 1,100 guests in attendance. 

Macau will further strengthen its engagement with the international economic cycle so as to serve the nation in further opening up to the world, and for the sustainable economic development of Macau, Ho said.

The “dual cycle” strategy has been highlighted by President Xi Jinping in several meetings this year. In a speech last month, Xi underlined the importance of promoting a dual-cycle development pattern relying on both domestic and international economic cycles, with the domestic cycle being the mainstay, according to state media reports. 

In his speech, Xi emphasised that accelerating the formation of a new development pattern is a strategic decision made in accordance with China’s development stage, environment and conditions.

Beijing’s solid support 

In his speech on Thursday, Ho underlined Beijing’s solid support for Macau, in particular in the face of the unprecedented challenge associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the care of, and guidance provided by the central government, Macau has been able to stop the novel coronavirus from spreading locally, the chief executive said. 

Ho noted that as of the end of last month there had been zero local infections for 185 consecutive days, zero imported cases for 96 consecutive days, no fatalities, and no infection among either medical or healthcare staff in Macau. 

These hard-won outcomes have been due to the joint effort across the community, and the government’s unswerving commitment to taking all necessary steps – irrespective of the cost – to prevent and control the disease, Ho added.

Ho, who has been at the helm of the MSAR government since December 20 last year, also said that the local economy was expected to recover gradually, assisted by the resumption of visa issuance by the mainland authorities under the facilitated individual visit scheme (IVS) for mainlanders planning to visit Macau. 

Upholding Xi’s instructions for Macau 

The 63-year-old former president of the Macau Legislative Assembly (AL) stressed that the local government has always borne in mind the mission of diligently and comprehensively upholding the spirit of Xi’s instructions for Macau, namely by implementing the so-called “Four Aspirations”, “Four Persistences” and “Four Expectations” concerning Macau’s development path. 

Xi announced the instructions during is inspection visit to Macau last December.

Ho’s speech also underlined Macau’s firm adherence to the principles of “One Country, Two Systems”, “Macau People Governing Macau” and “High Degree of Autonomy”, as well as the continued pursuit of the development of Macau’s strategic positioning as a world centre of tourism and leisure, and as an economic and trade cooperation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries (collectively known as the “centre and platform” policies).

Ho also said that his government would continue its policies of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguarding employment, stabilising the economy, caring for people’s livelihoods, implementing administrative reform, and facilitating development.

While trying its best in epidemic prevention and control, promoting economic recovery, protecting people’s livelihoods, facilitating public administration reform, and expediting urban development, the government will also pro-actively promote the development of the Guangdong-Macau Intensive Cooperation Zone planned for the adjacent island of Hengqin in Zhuhai, Ho said. 

Macau is closely linked with the motherland and shares its destiny, Ho reaffirmed.  Macau’s successful implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle fully demonstrates that this is the best system in terms of ensuring the vital strength to maintain Macau’s long-term prosperity and stability, Ho pointed out.

Fostering patriotism 

Ho, a former member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), pledged that the Macau government will strengthen patriotic education and youth services, thus fostering patriotism, and passing on the core values of loyalty to the country and to Macau. The government will also stand firm in safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests.

Guests attending the reception included National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Vice-Chairman Edmund Ho Hau Wah, Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Macau Deputy Director Yao Jian, former Macau chief executive Fernando Chui Sai On, Acting Commissioner of the Foreign Ministry in Macau Wang Dong, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Macau Garrison Commander Xu Liangcai, Legislative Assembly (AL) President Kou Hoi In, and Court of Final Appeal (TUI) President Sam Hou Fai. 

Earlier on Thursday, Ho and about 550 guests attended a solemn National Day flag-raising ceremony in the Golden Lotus Square in Zape. 

Meanwhile, talking to the media after Thursday’s reception Ho said that Macau would only ease its entry restrictions vis-à-vis Hong Kong when the central government has classified the neighbouring special administrative region as a “low risk” area as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned. 

Currently, Hong Kong residents arriving in Macau must undergo a nucleic acid test (NAT) and 14 days of mandatory quarantine and medical observation at a government-designated hotel. 

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng addresses Thursday’s National Day reception at The China-Portuguese-speaking Countries Economic and Trade Service Platform Complex in Nam Van, with some 1,100 guests in attendance. Photo GCS

A national flag-raising ceremony is held to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) at Praça Flor de Lótus, known in English as Golden Lotus Square, in Zape on Thursday morning. Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng and other principal officials of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) government, senior central government officials posted to Macau, community leaders, lawmakers, senior judges and members of the public attended the solemn event. – Photo Xinhua

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