The Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On, and the Portuguese Prime Minister, Mr António Costa, said they believed Macao and Portugal would develop even closer ties and bilateral cooperation would be elevated to a new level.
The two officials also affirmed Macao’s unique role as a platform serving China and Portuguese-speaking countries. Their comments were made in a meeting held in the Portuguese capital Lisbon on Wednesday afternoon (14 May) local time.
Mr Chui is leading a delegation of the Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) for a nine-day visit to the country.
Speaking in the Tuesday meeting, Mr Costa said he was pleased to see the Macao SAR had successfully achieved economic development, adding that Macao had also retained its distinctive bridging functions, ones which would further Macao-Portugal ties.
The Prime Minister of Portugal also said he was happy to meet again with the Chief Executive, especially in the year the SAR would celebrate its 20th anniversary. He spoke highly of the efforts and contributions of the Chief Executive and the SAR Government in terms of linking China and Portugal, and connecting China with other Portuguese-speaking countries.
According to Mr Costa, China-Portugal relations were a public policy matter of great significance to Portugal. Macao played a crucial and special role in the relationship between China and Portugal, the Prime Minister said. Portugal hoped to maintain friendly ties with Macao, by furthering cooperation in areas such as: judicial assistance; youth entrepreneurship; and creation of a greater number of development opportunities for young people from Macao and from Portugal.
The Portuguese Prime Minister also talked about the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area). He stated the city-cluster initiative was important for promoting robust development for the nine cities from Guangdong and the two SARs – Macao and Hong Kong – encompassed within it. Such development was being aided by advances in infrastructure.
In the meeting, Mr Chui told the Prime Minister that his schedule in Portugal included involvement in the sixth meeting of the Macao-Portugal Joint Committee. It was due to explore further cooperation opportunities in education, culture, tourism, science and technology, and in specialised financial services.
Mr Chui expressed his appreciation for the Portuguese Prime Minister’s support regarding Macao-Portugal cooperation in tourism education and training. With support from the Portuguese Government, Macao would be able to maximise its roles as a Portuguese-language training hub and as a base for tourism training, contributing further to the “Belt and Road” initiative and the advancement of the Greater Bay Area.
The Chief Executive briefed Mr Costa on Macao’s comprehensive mechanism for Portuguese-language education. Such a mechanism consolidated Macao’s inherent strengths, enabling it to become a Portuguese-language training base in Asia, stated Mr Chui.
In Tuesday’s meeting, Mr Chui reiterated the SAR Government’s ongoing efforts to position Macao as a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, an effort also known as the “Platform” policy. He said a Ministerial Meeting of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries was expected to take place next year, which would be another opportunity for further cooperation.
During the Tuesday meeting in Lisbon, the two officials also exchanged views on how to foster economic and trade cooperation and how to expand bilateral investment, in order to sustain respective economic development.
Officials attending the meeting with the Portuguese Prime Minister included the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Portuguese Republic, Mr Cai Run. The following SAR Government officials also attended: the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Ms Chan Hoi Fan; the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Mr Tam Chon Weng; the Chief-of-Office of the Chief Executive's Office, O Lam; and the Director of the Government Information Bureau, Mr Chan Chi Ping.
Portuguese officials present at the meeting included: the Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Ms Teresa Ribeiro; the Secretary of State of Culture, Ms Ângela Ferreira; the Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor, Mr Bernardo Futscher Pereira; the Prime Minister’s Legal Advisor, Ms Mariana Melo Egídio; and the Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Assistant, Mr Tiago Araújo.View gallery