Greater Bay Area to help diversify Macao’s economy: chief executive

Tourists visit Mount Fortress in Macao on Jan. 23, 2019. Visitor arrivals in China’s Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) made a record of 35.80 million in 2018, increasing by 9.8 percent year-on-year and hitting a record high, the SAR’s statistics service told a press conference on the same day. The opening of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and some other factors contribute to the satisfactory performance of its tourism industry. (Xinhua/Cheong Kam Ka)

By Su Ning from People’s Daily

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area provides new and great opportunities and platforms for Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) to board on the fast train of national development and to seek better growth by breaking bottlenecks and broadening space, Chui Sai On, chief executive of the region said in an exclusive interview with People’s Daily.

The bay area will enable Macao to pursue a moderately diversified and sustainable economy, improve living environment and better people’s livelihood, he added when asked about the plan for developing the bay area.

His remarks also came as local residents are now active in contributing their suggestions after Chinese authorities recently unveiled the outline development plan for the area, with the aim to develop the region into “a role model of high-quality development.”

With 49 items related to Macao, the guideline charts a course for Macao to join in the construction of the bay area, Chui said, promising that the government of the Macao SAR will take active steps to implement  the plan and put those strategic designs into effect.

“A working committee chaired by myself on the construction of the bay area was set up by the government of Macao SAR at the end of last year,” he said, adding that it will design, deploy and study on how Macao will integrate into the construction of the bay area in the short, medium and long run.

Defined by the outline as one of the core cities in the cluster, Macao should play its role as a core engine and strengthen its radiating effect in leading the development of nearby regions, the chief executive said. This is not only an honor, but a major responsibility for Macao, he added.

Departments at all levels under the government of the special administrative region, according to Chui, will study on the outline and make sure an effective and high-quality implementation of the national strategy.

Macao will innovate on its cooperation with other cities in the cluster, said Chui, adding that based on the rich experience it has accumulated over the past 40 years from the collaboration with southern China’s Guangdong province, the special administrative region will beef up cooperation with other sister cities within the bay area by giving play to its advantages.

Such cooperation will be based on the principle of “one country, two systems”  and put national interests first, said Chui.

The guideline has made clear that the cluster will base on the sound foundation of cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to explore a new model for coordinated growth and also serve as a model for closer collaboration between mainland cities and the two special administrative regions.

Chui pointed out that people’s interests will be prioritized when implementing the outline in a planned and step-by-step manner.

Those fields closely related to the livelihood will be given more weight, so as to enhance people’s sense of gaining, win more support from local residents and secure a good startfor the construction of the bay area, he elaborated.

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