Macao, HK in detailed negotiations over mutual legal assistance agreement

Secretary for Administration and Justice, Ms Chan Hoi Fan, meets the press.

Macao and Hong Kong are engaged in detailed negotiations regarding a mutual legal cooperation agreement, aiming to address the significant differences between the legal systems of the two Special Administrative Regions (SARs), said the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Ms Chan Hoi Fan. A proposed agreement on mutual legal assistance between the two SARs would be applied retroactively, covering older court sentences, Ms Chan told reporters. Her remarks were made on February 3 after the signing ceremony of a reciprocal visa waiver agreement between the Macao SAR and the Republic of Armenia. Commenting on the visa-free agreement, Ms Chan said it would further strengthen economic and trade ties between Macao and Armenia. It would also boost cultural exchanges between the two sides, she added. The Government would continue efforts to expand the list of countries and territories that Macao SAR passport holders can visit without a visa, in a bid to bring greater convenience to Macao residents travelling abroad, she said. Asked by reporters, the Secretary reiterated that the Government’s stance on the issue of the land concession for Pearl Horizon – an unfinished private housing project – had not changed: the decision to revert the land to the administration was made in accordance with the Land Law and related legislation. In case the same plot was again granted for residential use, the Government would strive – in compliance with the Land Law – to have as part of the concession favourable conditions for people who have bought flats on the Pearl Horizon project, said Ms Chan. The official notice declaring invalid the land concession for the Pearl Horizon project was published in the Macao SAR Gazette on 29 January 2016.

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