The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, today said the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Government fully affirmed the roles the local Portuguese community played in Macao, saying it was an essential part of the Macao community as a whole.
Mr Ho delivered a speech at a reception, held in the evening at the Macau Portuguese School, in celebration of the Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities.
The profound integration of the Chinese and Portuguese cultures in Macao provided unique advantages for Macao’s participation in the development of the “Belt and Road” initiative; the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area; and the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin. Such cultural integration also constituted an important foundation for building Macao’s strategic positions as “One Centre, One Platform, One Base”. It was additionally a valuable cultural resource to advance the “1+4” approach for Macao’s appropriate diversification development strategy, said Mr Ho.
Macao and Portugal had a profound shared history and deep ties. Since its establishment, the MSAR had attached great importance to cooperation with Portugal. The ties with Portugal had created a unique and important function in terms of facilitating friendly China-Portugal exchanges, as well as exchanges between China and other Portuguese-speaking countries, stated Mr Ho.
In April, the Chief Executive had led a delegation to Portugal, in order to further exchanges and cooperation in the areas of economic and trade matters, scientific and technological innovation, healthcare, culture, and teaching of the Portuguese language. The visit also consolidated the friendly relations between Macao and Portugal.
This year marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries (Macao), noted Mr Ho. It was hoped further effort would be made to seize this opportunity to take economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries to a new level, injecting new momentum to Macao’s appropriate economic diversification.
In his speech, Mr Ho spoke highly of the contribution made by the Portuguese community in relation to Macao’s overall development, including speeding up socioeconomic recovery. The Government would continue to abide by the Basic Law of Macao, in order to enhance the well-being of the local people, including the Portuguese community.
The practise of the “One country, two systems” principle had entered a new era, noted Mr Ho. With the strong support from the Central Government, and the concerted effort of the local community, including the Portuguese community, Macao would see more prosperous socioeconomic development, and thrilling advances in multiculturalism.
The Chief Executive added he wished for everlasting friendship between China and Portugal, and their respective peoples.