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'Great expectations' for Macao's role in Bay Area

By Sophie He in Macao | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-12-21 14:11
File photo: Macau's city view. [Photo/Xinhua]

Macao was poised to play a major role and contribute its strengths to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Irene Lau Kuan-va, president of Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, told Vision China.

The outline development plan for the Greater Bay Area was released by the central government in February. It described the area as a "powerhouse", with Macao as its "core engine" driving regional development, Lau said in Macao recently.

This demonstrated the trust the central government had placed in Macao, as well as the great expectations for the special administrative region's future. Both the Macao government and its people were confident that taking part in the development of the Greater Bay Area would bring opportunities for future development, Lau said.

Being one of the core cities, Macao aimed at developing itself into a world-class tourism and leisure center, she said. It would also serve as a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries to promote economic development and enhance international markets.

Lau said the goal was to develop a "base for exchange and cooperation where Chinese culture is the mainstream and diverse cultures coexist".|

Irene Lau Kuan-va, president of Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, gives the welcome remarks at Vision China forum entitled “Greater Bay Area: Building a Mega Powerhouse” on Dec 11, 2019, in Macao SAR. [Photo by Calvin Ng/ China Daily]

She said the development of the Greater Bay Area as an innovation and technology corridor and big data center would also be pursued.

The Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute has been tasked by the Macao government to promote external trade, attract investment, nurture the development of the convention and exhibition industry and drive economic cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Macao SAR.

Lau said that over the past two decades, Macao had achieved rapid economic growth and the livelihood of its people had improved gradually.

Macao had maintained its status as a free port and separate customs territory with a transparent, nondiscriminatory and open economy, adding up to a business-friendly environment, Lau said. These achievements had been acknowledged internationally.

The development of the Greater Bay Area was expected to foster the development of the regional economy, promote integration and cooperation, and enhance China's competitiveness in the global market, she added.

In the new era of the Greater Bay Area, Macao would take advantage of its "magnificent opportunity" and accelerate its integration into the overall development of the country, Lau said.

Macao was dedicated to the development of the Greater Bay Area, the Belt and Road Initiative and contributing to the sustainable development of the region, she said.

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