CE: ‘Mayors’ Visiting Program’ promotes complementary benefits

The Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On, meets with head of the third edition of the “Mayor’s Visiting Program” and Chairman of People’s Committee of Nghe An Province of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Mr Nguyen Xuan Duong.

The “Mayors’ Visiting Program” was an effective platform for strengthening cooperation in cultural affairs and economy and trade matters, for the benefit of all economies in the participating places, said the Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On.

Speaking this morning during a meeting with participants in the third edition of the “Mayors’ Visiting Program”, Mr Chui stated Macao was dedicated to promoting projects relating to the “Belt and Road” initiative and would spare no effort in advancing regional cooperation.

The third edition of the “Mayors’ Visiting Program” involved civic leaders from six neighbouring countries – i.e. Vietnam, Kazakhstan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia – and from five cities on the mainland. The Program is co-organised by the Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) and the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR.

Mr Chui said he believed the “Belt and Road” initiative and the emerging plan of a city cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area would create further opportunities to foster mutual development.

The Government was actively pushing forward the development of the cluster and gathering opinion from the public regarding Macao’s participation in the plan, he added.

Since its establishment, the Macao SAR had been closely adhering to the principles of “One country, two systems”, “Macao people governing Macao” and a high degree of autonomy. These had provided the foundations for the city’s achievements in terms of political, social and economic stability, and for the continuing enhancement of social well-being. Such principles had also assisted Macao in pushing ahead regional and international cooperation as well as participation in national strategic development, said Mr Chui.

The Chief Executive said the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (collectively known as the “Belt and Road” initiative) had themselves paved new routes for international cooperation and exchanges.

Speaking at the meeting, the Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR, Mr Ye Dabo, said that China – in upholding its principle of peaceful development – sought mutual benefits for all countries. The “Mayors’ Visiting Program”, initiated in 2015, aimed to take advantage of Macao’s platform function, in order to set forth a complementary cooperation model for the mainland, Macao and neighbouring countries.

The Program had accelerated cooperation in economic and trade matters, in tourism, cultural affairs and education, and would contribute to the development of the “Belt and Road” initiative, added Mr Ye.

The head of the third edition of the “Mayor’s Visiting Program” and Chairman of the People’s Committee of Nghe An Province of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Mr Nguyen Xuan Duong, said Vietnam planned to enhance its conditions and policies, as well as to make use of the country’s rich history and natural resources, to help attract a greater number of foreign investments, including a number of projects by Chinese entrepreneurs. Vietnam had stepped up efforts in strengthening relationships with partner countries, including China, he added.

During the meeting, the Mayor of Wuhan – a Prefecture-level city in Hubei Province – Mr Wan Yong, said it and other cities in the third edition of the Program, namely Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province, Chengdu in Sichuan Province, Zhuhai in Guangdong Province, Yangzhou in Jiangsu Province and Sanya, in Hainan Province, would explore closer opportunities with Macao in relation to the development of the “Belt and Road” initiative.

Mr Wan stated that – during Mr Chui’s visit to Wuhan in 2015 – the two cities had agreed to extend ties in high-end services, tourism and cultural cooperation. Two years on, the two cities could report significant progress, particularly in education and construction projects. Mr Wan thanked Mr Chui for the establishment in Wuhan last year of a representative centre of the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.

Other participants in the third edition of the “Mayors’ Visiting Program” were: the Akim (Governor) of the South Kazakhstan Region of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr Zhanseit Tuimebayev; the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure of the Republic of Maldives, Mr Mohamed Muizzu; the Chief Minister of Southern Province of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Mr Shan Wijayalal De Silva; the Chairman of Sibu Municipal Council of Sarawak State of Malaysia, Mr Tiong Thai King; the Mayor Assistant of Cirebon city of West Java Province of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr Agus Mulyadi; the Mayor of Yangzhou Prefecture, Mr Zhang Aijun; the Mayor of Sanya Prefecture, Mr Wu Yanjun; Vice Mayor of Hangzhou Prefecture, Ms Chen Hongying; and Assistant Mayor of Chengdu Prefecture, Mr Han Chunlin.

Macao officials attending the meeting included: the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Ms Chan Hoi Fan; the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Mr Leong Vai Tac; the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Mr Tam Chon Weng; the Chief-of-Office of the Chief Executive’s Office, Ms O Lam; the Director of the Government Information Bureau, Mr Chan Chi Ping; the Director of the Protocol, Public Relations and External Affairs Office, Mr Fung Sio Weng; the Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; the Director of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Mr Leung Hio Ming; and the acting President of the Administrative Committee of the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, Ms Irene V. K. Lau.

The third edition of the “Mayor’s Visiting Program” took place in Macao from 19 to 20 June. During their stay in Macao, officials were due to meet with representatives of, respectively, the city’s tourism office, the cultural affairs bureau, and the trade and investment promotion body. They would also visit Macao’s tourism attractions.

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