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The Support Office of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao hosted on September 11 an exchange session between its Coordinator, Ms Teresa Mok, and local students. The event took place at Escola Secundária Luso-Chinesa de Luís Gonzaga Gomes. The school’s Director, Dr Leong Iao Cheng, also took part in the activity. It was attended by more than 50 students enrolled on the Portuguese studies programme.

Throughout the event, Ms Mok engaged in a lively conversation with the students. The activity helped promote exchanges between representatives of Forum Macao and Macao young people. The exchange session aimed to broaden the students’ understanding of Macao’s role as a cooperation platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.

Ms Mok pointed out that the Macao SAR Government had been dedicated to pushing forward Macao’s role as a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. Such effort included a number of initiatives aimed at making available relevant commercial and trade information to companies from respectively, China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries.

Measures highlighted by Ms Mok included the implementation of the “Three Centres” policy, involving the establishment in Macao of a commercial and trade service centre for small- and medium-sized enterprises of China and of Portuguese-speaking Countries; a food product distribution centre for Portuguese-speaking Countries; and a centre for conventions and exhibitions for economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. Other initiatives highlighted by the Forum Macao representative included the setting up of the Economic and Trade Co-operation and Human Resources Portal between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.

Ms Mok noted that construction of the “Trade and Economic Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries Complex” was currently under way. The venue is to be used to promote economic and trade exchanges, provide support services to companies, and host meetings, exhibitions and training activities. In addition, the complex will serve as a base and information centre for governmental bodies and related organisations involved in cooperation matters between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.

Ms Mok also noted that, in order to promote the positioning of Macao as a cooperation platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, Forum Macao had been actively involved in the training of professionals bilingual in Chinese and Portuguese, namely through its Training Centre. The latter offered seminars and exchange programmes on a number of fields. As part of its talent-training efforts, Forum Macao had also been recruiting local students as volunteers, to get them to participate in its activities. Forum Macao had also been offering internship opportunities to students fluent in Chinese and Portuguese.

Ms Mok said she was happy to learn that student volunteers involved in Forum Macao activities, had reported satisfactory outcomes from such experience. These opportunities, she said, allowed students to broaden their horizons, gain new knowledge, and make new friends. More importantly, it helped them to improve their respective standard either of Chinese or of Portuguese.

With the announcement of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area), Macao had been presented with new opportunities for economic development, noted Ms Mok. She urged students to make full use of their capabilities as speakers of Chinese and Portuguese, to benefit from Macao’s role as a cooperation platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. That would allow them to take part in – and benefit from – the development of the Greater Bay Area, she said.