The Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On, met in Lisbon, Portugal, with the President of the Portuguese Republic, Mr Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. The two officials affirmed Macao-Portugal ties were being maintained in an excellent manner, and looked forward to extending cooperation in various areas.
The meeting was held in the Portuguese capital on Monday (13 May) in the afternoon. A delegation of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government arrived in Lisbon on Sunday for a nine-day visit to the country.
The Portuguese President mentioned during the session that he was pleased to meet again with the Chief Executive and expressed his gratitude for the hospitality the SAR Government showed during his recent visit to Macao.
Mr Rebelo de Sousa stressed China-Portugal relations and Macao-Portugal ties were excellent. He added he was pleased to see that the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping, paid great attention to Macao’s roles and functions in connecting China and Portugal, as well as to Macao’s role in linking China to other Portuguese-speaking countries.
Mr Chui concurred with Mr Rebelo de Sousa’s comments regarding China-Portugal relations and Macao-Portugal ties, as well as regarding Macao’s roles in linking China and Portugal.
In the meeting, the Portuguese President also talked about Macao’s economic development, saying the SAR had achieved sound progress, especially in diversifying adequately the city’s economy, attracting more investment, and advancing its science and technology sector.
The fact that the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries was based in Macao, played an important role in strengthening Macao and China’s connection with Portuguese-speaking countries, said Mr Rebelo de Sousa.
The Portuguese President pointed out that it was significant and important that Portuguese culture and language were preserved in Macao and continued to be further promoted. Amidst China’s effort in boosting cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries, advancing promotion of Portuguese language was crucial not only to strengthen the connection with Portugal but also enhance ties with other Portuguese-speaking countries, he added.
Continuing the teaching of the Portuguese language in Macao would also help enhance exchange and cooperation between Macao and Portuguese-speaking countries in relation to culture, social affairs, economic and trade matters, science and technology, and tourism, the Portuguese President said.
Speaking in Monday’s meeting, Mr Chui thanked the Portuguese President for Portugal’s invitation to the Macao delegation and for Portugal’s hospitality.
Mr Chui said he aimed – through his visit to Portugal – to understand for himself the latest developments in the country and to co-chair the sixth meeting of the Macao-Portugal Joint Committee. The latter was set to review cooperation between the two sides and discuss further areas for cooperation.
The Chief Executive also said the SAR Government would step up effort in promoting the Portuguese language in Macao, adding the SAR Government was confident that Macao – with strong support from Portugal – could strengthen its role as a commercial and trade cooperationservice platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, known as the “Platform” policy.
Macao’s historical links and friendship with Portugal would contribute to creating fresh cooperation opportunities, especially via the “Belt and Road” initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Mr Chui said.
Mr Chui additionally stated the SAR Government would continue to pay close attention and to protect – according to the Basic Law of Macao – the interests of the local Portuguese community. He also pledged the SAR Government’s support for promotion in Macao of Portuguese culture and language.
During the meeting, the two officials exchanged views regarding an expansion project for the Macau Portuguese School.
Members of the SAR Government – from among the Macao delegation to Portugal – that attended the meeting included the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Ms Chan Hoi Fan, and the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Mr Tam Chon Weng. The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Portuguese Republic, Mr Cai Run, was also at the meeting.
Officials of the Portuguese Republic present in the meeting were: the Head of the Civil House of the President’s Office, Mr Fernando Frutuoso de Melo; the Portuguese President’s International Relations Senior Advisor, Ms Ana Martinho; and the Portuguese President’s International Relations Advisor, Ms Vanda Sequeira.View gallery