The Government is to set up a Protocol, Public Relations and External Affairs Office to handle an increasing protocol and non-foreign policy related consulate affairs and related activities. According to the 233/2012 Chief Executive Order published today in the Macao SAR Gazette, the Office would function on a project basis and serves a one-year term, subject to renewal. It will report directly to the Chief Executive and will be supervised by a director and two deputy directors. Responsibilities of the office would include planning and organising official activities of the Chief Executive whether in Macao or abroad; co-ordinating visits by guests of ministerial-level or above, and guests suggested by the Chief Executive; managing non-foreign policy related affairs related to consulates of foreign countries accredited to Hong Kong and Macao and officially recognised representatives, and maintaining related contacts; providing assistance for foreign representatives and consulates in Macao in applying documents; providing assistance to government entities in organising events and extending exchanges with international organisations; co-ordinating meeting, conferences, luncheon and banquets and signing ceremonies involving the Chief Executive; and co-ordinating official and large-scale events designated by the Chief Executive, according to the Gazette. Since the establishment of the Macao SAR, Macao has experienced an increase in external affairs activities and has new positioning in external affairs and regional co-operation. It had also received an increasing number of state leaders, officials of all levels, and delegations from the mainland and overseas. There is a need for the Government to enhance its work in protocol and public relations areas. Integrating the functions of managing external affairs, contacts with mainland authorities, protocol and public relations into an Office would strengthen efficiency, build an even better image for the Government and enhance co-operation with other places. According to official figures in 2011, the Government had received 40 delegations from the Mainland, more than 100 visits by consulates and 63 foreign official delegations. In 2011, the Protocol and Public Relations Services of the Government Headquarters had arranged for the Chief Executive one foreign visit and 16 visits to the Mainland. It also participated in organising a wide range of events, meetings, seminars and press conferences involving the Chief Executive.