Member Countries
Forum Macao’s 20th Anniversary Celebratory Reception
Release time:2023-03-28
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On March 28 the Celebratory Reception for the 20th Anniversary of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao) (“Forum Macao’s 20th Anniversary Celebratory Reception”) was held at the Complex of Commerce and Trade Co-operation Platform for China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. The Launch Ceremony for Commemorations of Forum Macao’s 20th Anniversary was presided over by Mr. Ho Iat Seng, Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region; Mr. Ho Hau Wah, Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; Mr. Zheng Xincong, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR; Mr. Liu Xianfa, Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR; Mr. Li Xiaohui, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China; Mr. Ji Xianzheng, Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat of Forum Macao; Ambassador Maria Gustava, Head of Portuguese-speaking countries’ diplomatic corps in China; and heads of Portuguese-speaking countries’ delegations to China.

During the event, Secretary-General Ji Xianzheng delivered a welcome speech. He noted that the mechanism of Forum Macao has been constantly improving over the past 20 years. Forum Macao has yielded remarkable results and has played an irreplaceable role in facilitating exchanges and cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries (PSCs) in various areas, in increasing the influence of PSCs in China, and in building Macao into a Commercial and Trade Cooperation Service Platform between China and PSCs. All of this can be attributed to the strong support of the Central Government, the enthusiastic cooperation of the Macao SAR Government, and the joint efforts of PSCs. Secretary-General Ji Xianzheng expressed his gratitude to all those from China and PSCs who contributed to the establishment and development of Forum Macao, and further stated that the Permanent Secretariat will stick to the Strategic Plan adopted in the Ministerial Conference, providing continuous support in the construction of the Commercial and Trade Cooperation Service Platform and promoting mutual understanding and affection between the two peoples.

In his speech, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng expressed the wish that, with the improvement of the functions of the platform between China and PSCs, Forum Macao should take full advantage of Macao’s unique strengths and the opportunities brought about by the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin while following the development strategy of adequate diversification of Macao’s “1+4” industries. It is hoped that Macao companies will better promote economic and trade cooperation between mainland China and PSCs and stimulate people-to-people exchanges between Macao and PSCs, thus achieving joint development. He further underlined that the Macao SAR Government will prioritize Macao’s strategic position as “One Center, One Platform and One Base”, and make full use of the favorable policies and measures introduced by the Central Government. The Macao SAR Government will, as always, make all efforts to support the work of the Permanent Secretariat, and further expand the functions of the platform between China and PSCs to constantly reinforce cooperation between the two sides in economic, commercial and cultural domains.

Deputy Director-General Li Xiaohui recalled that over the past two decades, Forum Macao has held five editions of the Ministerial Conference and one Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting, resulting in an expansion from seven to more than 20 areas of cooperation. Forum Macao has already managed to bring together all PSCs worldwide. He also favorably noted that the volume of trade between China and PSCs grew substantially from US$11.03 billion in 2003 to US$214.83 billion in 2022, and that the cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and PSCs are frequent and diversified, with more than 13,000 people from PSCs attending colloquia or studying in mainland China or Macao. He concluded that China would like to join hands with PSCs to strengthen cooperation, achieve joint development and create a promising future, together taking pragmatic cooperation between China and PSCs in various areas to a new level.

Ambassador Maria Gustava highlighted that the participating countries have not only intensified their historical ties, traditional friendship and partnership through Forum Macao, but also driven the development of Forum Macao and made it a vital complementary mechanism consolidating the bilateral relations between each PSC and China. She also stressed that from this new starting point marked by the 20th anniversary of Forum Macao, all parties should seek new angles to promote cooperation, in a bid to respond to the ever-changing world and the challenges it poses with deliberation, wisdom and solidarity. On behalf of the PSCs, she reaffirmed their intent to enhance Forum Macao in cooperation with China, to increase its influence and vitality and produce more results.

The celebratory reception also attracted nearly 300 participants from various sectors, business associations, higher education institutions, organizations of PSCs in Macao, and companies from mainland China. The guests expressed their appreciation and recognition of the role of Forum Macao and the results it has achieved over the last two decades. They also exchanged views on various topics, such as building the Commercial and Trade Cooperation Service Platform, strengthening economic and trade cooperation between mainland China, Macao and PSCs, and fostering Macao’s adequate economic diversification and sustainable development.