Government to press ahead with Guangdong-Macao cooperation and integration into national development
The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, answered legislators’ questions on 16 November regarding the Policy Address for the Fiscal Year 2023, and reiterated the Government’s commitment to facilitating development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, and to bolstering Macao’s integration into national development.
The Chief Executive noted that his administration would strengthen the ties between four nascent Macao industries and their counterparts in the Cooperation Zone, and would promote the engagement of young people in social affairs.
The primary goal of the Cooperation Zone was to create conditions for Macao’s economic diversification, and offer new momentum for Macao’s long-term development, said Mr Ho. He added that Macao would not miss this historic opportunity provided by the Central Government.
According to Mr Ho, the Cooperation Zone has achieved significant advances in eight areas since its inauguration more than a year ago. These are namely: the number of Macao-funded enterprises involved; the number of businesses with significant operations in Hengqin; the engagement of high-end manufacturing and technological research; in relation to tax revenue; the residence of Macao people in Hengqin; access for vehicles with Macao licence plates; Macao people receiving medical services in Hengqin; and Macao students studying in the Cooperation Zone.
He pointed out that the Cooperation Zone had instituted the relevant rules and regulations necessary for Guangdong-Macao interconnection, making it possible for the realisation of the first major development target in 2024 as outlined in the Master Plan of the Development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin.
The Government would also strive to complete the legal framework for establishing a modern financial services sector, and facilitate cross-border business in finance between Macao and Hengqin.
Guangzhou and Macao would further enhance the mechanism for regular and face-to-face exchanges, especially in the area of youth entrepreneurship, based on the sound foundation of the two places’ existing bilateral cooperation, said Mr Ho.
The Government would work closely with Guangzhou to develop Nansha as a key medium for Macao’s further integration into national development, he added.
According to the Chief Executive, a total of 17 cooperation agreements had been signed between Macao and business incubation centres in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as at the end of October 2022, involving more than 500 projects from Macao. Over 90 of those projects are to be based at the youth entrepreneurship incubation centre in Guangzhou.
Regarding the development of talent, the Chief Executive said the Government would strongly support local young people in seeking opportunities in the Greater Bay Area. This would include work opportunities with various organisations in the region, in order to open up to those members of Macao’s younger generations, a greater number of career and study options.
Commenting on the recruitment of civil servants, Mr Ho noted that although civil servants were recruited through a rigorous system, the Government could still try out new ways to recruit talent from the wider community: something the Cooperation Zone had been doing.
He added that the Government would continue to cultivate management talent for the public sector, via off-the-job training. Some of the people who took part in three previous such programmes, had been relocated to jobs in the Cooperation Zone.
Regarding the progress of the Macao New Neighbourhood (MNN) project in Hengqin, Mr Ho said the Government was now working on the provision of auxiliary social facilities, with the aim of offering social services that were in line with those available in Macao.
According to the agreement signed earlier between the governments of Zhuhai and Macao, the average price of apartments in the MNN will not exceed 30,000 renminbi per square metre.
The Chief Executive additionally noted that Macao’s 5G mobile network had been inaugurated this week, making faster and more reliable things such as online teaching, sharing of medical information, and provision of e-services via the “Macao One Account” app. He added that the Islands Medical Complex would make full use of the 5G network in future to provide medical consultations for the elderly via videoconferencing, and hoped that 5G technology could be used in the retail, hospitality and catering sectors.