The Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On, met today with the visiting President of the Portuguese Republic, Mr Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to exchange views on bilateral cooperation and, particularly, support for expanding the facilities of the Macau Portuguese School.
The Portuguese President arrived in Macao on late Tuesday evening (30 April) for a two-day visit. His visit to Macao is part of a state visit to China at the invitation of the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping.
During the meeting held at the Government Headquarters, Mr Chui said the two sides paid great attention to the teaching of Portuguese language skills in Macao, notably a plan to expand the facilities of the Macau Portuguese School.
The expansion of the Macau Portuguese School would help consolidate the development of Portuguese culture and language in Macao, stated Mr Chui.
The Macao SAR Government had agreed in principle to the school’s expansion plan and would – as always – continue to support the institution’s development. A team from the Macao SAR Government would work closely with representatives from the Macau Portuguese School in order to achieve consensus within this year regarding the school’s expansion project, he added.
In the meeting, Mr Chui reviewed the ties between Macao and Portugal. Since the establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) 20 years ago, the governments respectively of the Macao SAR and of Portugal had been promoting and strengthening bilateral cooperation, supported by a number of agreements signed over the years. The Macao SAR Government was very pleased, in particular, with the results achieved in this regard via the Macao-Portugal Joint Committee mechanism, added Mr Chui.
Macao looked forward to having even closer ties with Portugal, said Mr Chui, adding he was keen to listen to the views of the Portuguese President on issues of mutual interest.
The Chief Executive highlighted that the friendship and historic ties linking Macao and Portugal had contributed to the development of Macao, in particular in matters related to the city’s Portuguese heritage, namely related to culture, customs, language and education.
During the meeting, the President of the Portuguese Republic said he was pleased to Macao. Mr Chui’s upcoming visit to Portugal – taking place from 11 May – highlighted the strong bilateral ties between Portugal and Macao, he added.
Macao’s historic links with Portugal would contribute to facilitate and advance the friendly relations between Portugal and China, added Mr Rebelo de Sousa.
The President said he had been able to enjoy the main distinctive features of the Macao SAR, including people-to-people bond and the harmonious co-existence of different cultures.
In addition, Mr Rebelo de Sousa spoke highly of the Macao SAR Government’s effort to promote locally Portuguese culture and language. He expressed his gratitude for the Macao SAR Government’s support to the expansion plan of the Macau Portuguese School.
It was hoped that the expansion project would contribute to increase the number of students enrolled in the Macau Portuguese School, as well as to enhance the overall quality of teaching, promote further Portuguese language in Macao, and offer more opportunities for a greater number of people in Macao to learn more about Portuguese culture, said Mr Rebelo de Sousa. As such, the expansion plan was of significant importance not only to Portugal but also to people living in Macao, he added.
The President said additionally that he wished to promote further bilateral cooperation in economic and financial matters between Portugal and Macao.
Macao officials attending the meeting included the Chief-of-Office of the Chief Executive’s Office, Ms O Lam; the Director of the Government Information Bureau, Mr Chan Chi Ping; the Director of the Protocol, Public Relations and External Affairs Office, Ms Lei Ut Mui; and the Director of the Macao Economic and Trade Office in Lisbon, Ms O Tin Lin.
Portuguese officials present in the meeting were: the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Augusto Santos Silva; the Minister of Environment and Energy Transition, Mr João Pedro Matos Fernandes; the Portuguese Ambassador to China, Mr Jose Augusto Duarte; and the Secretary of State of Internationalisation, Mr Eurico Brilhante Dias.
Prior to the meeting with the Chief Executive, the President of the Portuguese Republic and other members of his delegation walked from Senado Square to the Ruins of St. Paul’s, accompanied by the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR, Mr Tam Chon Weng.View gallery