Sharing New Opportunities Created by the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin and Ushering in a Brighter Future in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

Sharing New Opportunities Created by the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin and Ushering in a Brighter Future in the

 Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

Remarks by Commissioner Liu Xianfa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 of the People’s Republic of China in Macao SAR

at the Welcome Luncheon of the Hengqin Visit

for Consuls General inMacao SAR and Hong Kong SAR

Secretary Lei Wai Nong,

Director Nie Xinping,

Consuls General in Macao SAR and Hong Kong SAR,

Friends from the media,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

It gives me great pleasure to join so many friends, both old and new, in Hengqin. During our meetings since this January, Consuls General in Macao SAR and Hong Kong SAR expressed a strong wish to visit Hengqin as soon as possible, so as to gain a full understanding of policies about the In-depth Cooperation Zone, and more importantly to play a part in its development. For this purpose, we decided to organize this specific visit.

First of all, I would like to extend warm welcome to Consuls General in Macao SAR and Hong Kong SAR, representatives from the international organizations and business councils in Macao, as well as friends from the national, Macao and Hong Kong media. I also wish to express my hearty appreciation to the Executive Committee of the In-depth Cooperation Zone, the Hengqin Working Committee of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee and the Foreign Affairs Office of Zhuhai for your valuable support.

This morning, together we attended the 2023 Hengqin Global Investment Promotion Conference and got a whole picture of the In-depth Cooperation Zone’s favorable policies and business environment. This afternoon, we will have a field trip to experience the vitality and opportunities in Hengqin. I believe it will be a rewarding trip for you all.

Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin is a major decision planned, directed and promoted by President Xi Jinping. It fully demonstrates the Central Government’s expectations for, and the importance placed on the integrated development of Hengqin and Macao, as well as the Greater Bay Area.

Just as the radiance of the sun can be reflected by a drop of water, Hengqin is an epitome of high-quality development and high-standard opening-up of China in the new era. The once behindhand island with a few villages is now growing into hot soil of development and frontier of international cooperation. To help better understand the background of Hengqin’s development and future, especially its huge potential, here I’d like to share four stories with you.

First, the story of Macao. The year 2024 marks the 25th anniversary of Macao’s return to the motherland. Small as it is, Macao has written a splendid story since 1999. Its per capita GDP has increased to 44000 USD from 15000 USD, and its primary health care system is rated as a model in the Asia-Pacific region by the WHO, with male and female life expectancy reaching 81.3 years and 87.1 years respectively. Enormous progress has also been made in education, science and technology, culture and art. As a result, the morale among Macao residents has moved to a notably higher level. The story of Chui Lok I, a young Macao civil servant, is a case in point. In 2021, recommended by the Central Government, Chui went to work at the UN Secretariat. Over the past two years, she has been committed to presenting the voice of the UN and the vision of peace and cooperation. She received great acclaim of the Secretariat, and showcases the talent, vision and spirit of Macao’s young generation.

Second, the story of the Greater Bay Area. Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao are the most internationalized regions, with the greatest economic dynamism and the highest-level opening-up in China. For years, the Central Government has been advancing cooperation among the three. Solid progress has been made in developing the Greater Bay Area into world-class bay area and city cluster, especially after the signing of the Framework Agreement on deepening the cooperation in the development of the Greater Bay Area in July, 2017. In 2022, the GDP of the Greater Bay Area exceeded 13 trillion yuan. 24 companies are on the Fortune Global 500 list, four ports have a throughput capacity of over 100 million tons, and the development of Hengqin, Qianhai and Nansha is in full swing. What is particularly gratifying is that the rapid pooling of resources for science and technology innovation will surely boost the international competitiveness of the Greater Bay Area. For example, in 12 days, Macao Science Satellite 1 will be launched into orbit, after Macao Student Science Satellite 1 was released last December. We are confident that, with the intra-regional coordination of one country, two systems, three customs territories, three currencies, the dynamism and creativity of the Greater Bay Area will be further strengthened and turn into competitive edge.

Third, the story of Chinese path to modernization. China has completed a process of industrialization that took developed countries several centuries in about 7 decades, bringing about two miracles of rapid economic growth and enduring social stability. In 2022, China’s GDP exceeded 120 trillion yuan, accounting for 19% of the world’s total. China has contributed annually over 30% to global growth ever since 2013. Besides, China rose to 11th in the Global Innovation Index 2022. Take the example of Shaoguan, a Guangdong city about 200 kilometers from here. A national big data hub started in Shaoguan last August as part of the new National Project of Channeling Computing Resources from the East to the West, transforming the ancient post road into a road for data. This is also an epitome of the Chinese path to modernization. China’s high-quality development in the process of modernization will surely bring much more opportunities of international cooperation to benefit peace and development of the whole world.

Now, last but not least, for the fourth story, we have the unfolding story of Hengqin, which is supported and driven by the above three stories. Since the official release of the Master Plan of the In-depth Cooperation Zone in September 2021, a series of major progress has been made, and with more enabling policies in investment, finance and customs rolling out this year, the In-depth Cooperation Zone surely possesses an ever brighter future, even beyond our imagination today. I myself and my colleagues in the Office of the Commissioner, will make every effort to work with all consuls general, leaders of business councils to facilitate exchanges and cooperation, to promote and support companies, investors, artists, scientists, engineers, etc. from your countries to come, work and live in the In-depth Cooperation Zone, and jointly write a new chapter in Hengqin’s development story.

Thank you.