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2023 Lunar New Year Message from the Chief Executive Mr Ho Iat Seng — Forging Ahead to Seek New Horizons, Building a Brighter Future with Confidence and Together in Unity

The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, delivers his Lunar New Year Message.

Dear citizens and friends:

Time goes by very quickly and brings about changes, with the Lunar New Year already upon us. At this joyous occasion, when friends and family get together, bidding farewell to the past and welcoming the new year, I – on behalf of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Government – would like to extend New Year greetings to all people in Macao, and all friends of Macao who care about, and support, the development of the city. I wish you all a happy Lunar New Year, and convey sincere good wishes to your families.

Looking back at the past year, it was a period in which Macao faced a number of challenges caused by the several outbreaks of the pandemic, and by the economic downturn. With strong support and assistance from the Central Government, the MSAR Government effectively implemented measures regarding prevention and control of the pandemic, as well as policies to support the recovery and advancement of the city’s economy. With the support of all residents, and the concerted efforts of all sectors of the community, Macao was able to maintain economic and social stability. Acting in unity, we have been able to: withstand the severe impact of the pandemic; steadily push forward amendments to the Law on Safeguarding National Security; complete the revision of the gaming laws and regulations, and sign new gaming concession contracts; and achieve interim results in the development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin. On this occasion, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all Macao residents and all sectors of the community for your support.

As long as we press ahead with a strong sense of perseverance, there will be much to expect in the future. Looking ahead to the new year, the haze of the pandemic is gradually dissipating. Our country has adjusted its disease prevention and control policy, and COVID-19 is now categorised and treated as a category-B infectious disease, and travel between Macao and the mainland has returned to normal. With a new round of investment and the phased execution of the development plans of the gaming concessionaires, as well as the implementation of the Central Government’s policies and measures in support of Macao’s development, various favourable factors are coming together to definitely inject fresh and strong momentum into Macao’s development. We firmly believe that, with the solid foundation of the “One country, two systems” principle, the support and assistance of the great motherland, and the solidarity shown by all sectors of the community and all residents, Macao will definitely emerge from its predicament and enter a new phase of development.

This year marks the beginning of the full implementation of the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. The MSAR Government will thoroughly follow the guiding principles featured in the report of the 20th National Congress, and the series of important instructions from President Xi. We will confidently persist in implementing a sound and stable governance system for Macao; focus on expediting economic recovery and adequate economic diversification; firmly promote the construction of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin; actively improve people's livelihoods; deepen public administration reform; and firmly safeguard national security. We will also strive to solve the deep-rooted conflicts and problems in economic and social development; give full play to Macao’s own advantages and characteristics to better integrate into the overall national development plan; and strive to break new ground in realising fully the “One country, two systems” principle with Macao characteristics.

As we bid farewell to winter, let us greet the blooming spring with joy. During the Spring Festival, I hope all will do their best to protect their health and enjoy a joyful, healthy, and safe holiday. The MSAR Government will make the utmost effort to continue to optimise anti-epidemic measures to protect the lives and health of Macao residents. We will work together in unity with the general public to resume fully normal economic and social activities.

I sincerely wish Macao a vibrant and prosperous future. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to civil servants in all sectors and to people from all walks of life in Macao that continue to work to provide services to the community during the Spring Festival. I would also like to extend my greetings to all of those who are either working, living or travelling in Macao during this festive season.

Lastly, I wish you all a healthy, safe, and successful year ahead.

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