Forum Macao News

A delegation of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao led by Secretary General Mr Ji Xianzheng meets with the Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Mr Fu Ziying

A delegation of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao, led by Secretary-General Mr Ji Xianzheng, paid a visit to the Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Mr Fu Ziying on February 22, to listen to his opinions and proposals on the work of Forum Macao and the Permanent Secretariat.

The Secretary-General thanked Mr Fu and the heads of department at the Liaison Office regarding their continued support for Forum Macao and for the Permanent Secretariat. Mr Ji pointed out that since its creation in 2003, Forum Macao had – with unwavering dedication – followed its aspirations. These were: to promote economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and to develop Macao’s role as platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. Such steps were in order to achieve the common development of Mainland China, Macao, and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and thereby to create an environment in which multilateral cooperation and bilateral cooperation complemented and promoted each other.

The Secretary-General said Forum Macao would focus its work on cooperation in fighting the pandemic and on economic recovery, to drive economic cooperation and trade between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries to a new level, amid unprecedented historic changes that were intertwined with the current, unprecedented, pandemic. He also stated that Forum Macao would support Macao’s integration into national development, particularly in the development projects of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, exploring favourable opportunities for Macao’s economic diversification.

On behalf of the Portuguese-speaking Countries at Forum Macao, Deputy Secretary-General Mr Paulo Jorge Rodrigues do Espírito Santo praised China’s successful hosting of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. He expressed thanks for the support given by the Central Government to the economic and social development of Portuguese-speaking Countries, either via public development aid or by direct investment. Mr do Espírito Santo stressed that Portuguese-speaking Countries agreed with President Xi Jinping’s call for building a community with a vision for a shared future for mankind, and they viewed China as a trustworthy, all-seasons, cooperation partner. The Deputy Secretary-General argued that the pandemic highlighted the growing need to strengthen cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, in order to overcome hurdles and move forward.

The Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the MSAR, Mr Fu, welcomed the Forum Macao delegation led by Secretary-General Mr Ji, and noted that five editions of Forum Macao’s Ministerial Conference had already been successfully held since Forum Macao had been created in 2003. He said the Central Government had paid great attention to the development of Forum Macao, encouraging the implementation of the Action Plans signed at the Ministerial Conferences. This was in order to continue the deepening of cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. Macao, as the permanent venue for the Ministerial Conference, had developed as a platform and bridge between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and had an increasingly prominent international role, Mr Fu added.

The Liaison Office Director said the existence of Forum Macao reflected President Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thought, namely the construction of a community with a vision for a shared future for mankind. He said President Xi and the Central Government had a special feeling for Forum Macao, as well as particular expectations regarding cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.

Mr Fu also said the Macao SAR Government had reiterated its support for real cooperation – in the search of common development – with the participating parties of Forum Macao since the latter’s creation. Fruitful results had been achieved in several areas, namely intergovernmental cooperation, economic, trade and investment cooperation, cultural exchanges, human resources, innovation and youth entrepreneurship, and the development of Macao as a platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.

Finally, Mr Fu made four suggestions to strengthen the role of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao. The first was further to improve the institutional work of Forum Macao. The Director recalled that next year would be the 20th anniversary of the creation of Forum Macao, therefore the Permanent Secretariat should, in a timely manner, carry out a general assessment of the results obtained so far, and Forum Macao’s successes. Forum Macao should also assess the emerging issues associated with unprecedented historic changes, in order to drive the constant improvement of its work mechanisms.

The second suggestion was to promote cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, in tandem with the implementation of the “Belt and Road” initiative, thus increasing the scope and quality of such cooperation. The Director recalled that the fields of finance, culture, and sport may become new areas for cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. He also called for deeper cooperation in traditional areas, namely economic and trade matters, tourism, and agriculture and fisheries, in order to face the new realities in a post-pandemic period.

The third suggestion was to complement the development of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin and encourage Portuguese-speaking Countries to expand trade contacts with the Greater Bay Area, via Macao. The Director stressed that opportunities should be seized. He also urged the representatives to Forum Macao from Portuguese-speaking Countries to pay a visit to the Intensive Cooperation Zone, in order better to understand the opportunities offered there for cooperation.

The fourth suggestion was to ensure successful preparatory work for the 6th Ministerial Conference of Forum Macao. The Director reiterated that the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the MSAR would, as always, support the work of the Permanent Secretariat, and pledged its full backing for the successful hosting of the 6th Ministerial Conference.

Other attendees at the meeting included: Director of the General Office of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the MSAR, Mr Song Lihong; Director of the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office, Mr Cheng Guokai; Deputy Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao, Mr Ding Tian; Deputy Secretary-General of Forum Macao, Mr do Espírito Santo; Deputy Secretary-General Mr Casimiro de Jesus Pinto; Coordinator of the Executive Office, Mr He Meng; Coordinator of Forum Macao’s Liaison Office and Representative of Cabo Verde, Mr Nuno Furtado; Coordinator of the Support Office, Ms Teresa Mok Iun Lei; Representative of Angola, Mr Eduardo Velasco Galiano; Representative of Guinea-Bissau, Mr Abdú Jaquité; Representative of Mozambique, Ms Francisca Reino; Representative of Portugal, Ms Maria João Bonifácio; Representative of São Tomé and Príncipe, Mr Gika Simão; and Representative of Timor-Leste, Mr Danilo Henriques.