Implementing the Global Development Initiative and Promoting Economic Diversification and Transformation --The “Macao Urban Transformation and Development Dialogue” was successfully held

On August 30, the “Macao Urban Transformation and Development Dialogue: Implementing the Global Development Initiative and Promoting Economic Diversification and Transformation”, jointly organized by the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR and the Macao SAR Government, was successfully held in Macao both online and offline. 

Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC in the Macao SAR Liu Xianfa, Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao SAR Government Lei Wai Nong and Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR Zhang Rongshun delivered speeches. Officials and scholars from the Department of International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Macao SAR and the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, as well as representatives from Tokyo, Luxemburg, Dubai and Seoul spoke on various topics. The Dialogue was attended by more than 150 guests, including officials from the Macao SAR Government and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, heads of main associations, higher education institutions and important chambers of commerce, as well as foreign Consul-Generals or Consuls in the Macao SAR and representatives from the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao).

Commissioner Liu Xianfa said that General Secretary Xi Jinping has always attached great importance to Macao’s prosperity and development and Macao people’s well-being, always stressed that the motherland stands firm behind Macao’s long-term prosperity and stability and personally planned for and promoted the development of the In-depth Cooperation Zone. Macao’s transformation and development calls for strategic planning, independent innovation, talent support, institutional guarantee and youth cultivation. He expressed the belief that as Macao better integrates into overall national development, enhances its function of close connection with the world with the support of the motherland and turns its comparative strengths to competitive strengths, the “treasure land of lotus” of the motherland will surely have brighter prospects. The Office of the Commissioner will continue to serve the SAR’s moderate economic diversification with the strengths of the diplomatic service.

Secretary Lei Wai Nong expressed his belief that the insights of various sides on implementing the Global Development Initiative and promoting economic diversification and transformation will offer more valuable inspirations for Macao’s future development, in particular for Macao to bring about further development of the In-depth Cooperation Zone. They will help speed up the development of a moderately diversified and sustainable industrial structure that suits Macao’s realities in the direction set before while stabilizing the economy and ensuring people’s well-being. The insights will also contribute to benefiting the people and stabilizing employment in the process of promoting economic transformation and upgrading. 

Deputy Director Zhang Rongshun noted that the Central Government explicitly put forward and has firmly supported Macao’s moderate economic diversification and transformation, and introduced a serious of important policies including the building of “One Center, One Platform and One Base” and the development of Hengqin and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. All this has provided strong impetus and created bright prospects for Macao’s development. Macao needs to identify its position, cement confidence and pool wisdom to realize the policy objective of the Central Government and its urban transformation. The successful practice of “One Country, Two Systems” with Macao characteristics will surely shine more brightly.

Focusing on cooperation between Japan and Macao, the representative from Tokyo expressed the expectation for the two sides to step up exchanges on industrial diversification and support for Japanese companies to invest and set up businesses in the In-depth Cooperation Zone. Moreover, with the production and R&D of Japanese medical companies in China as an example, the representative shared four development philosophies of running businesses (i.e. differentiation, localization, an innovation-driven approach and the approach of putting patients first) and elaborated on the opportunities presented by cooperation in traditional medicine R&D and manufacturing and the big health industry.

The representative from Luxemburg spoke on the development of the modern finance industry and shared the experience of Luxemburg becoming the European financial center. The representative emphasized that diversification is an effective means to withstanding economic risks and realizing sustainable development and that diversification based on international cooperation is crucial to the sound development of the modern finance industry and the capital market. Cooperation programs between the Luxemburg Stock Exchange and the Chinese side serves as a successful example of the diversified development of the modern finance industry. 

With a focus on the experience and inspirations of the urban economy’s exploration of a path to diversified development, the representative from Dubai pointed out that the success of its economic diversification lies in continued policy support, a long-term perspective, strategic goals and follow-up measures. Dubai will continue to formulate a strategic blueprint, encourage breakthrough innovation, develop infrastructure and attract top talents, so as to continuously inject impetus into diversified urban development.

The representative from Seoul, with international cooperation on advanced manufacturing and the transformation and upgrading of SMEs as the theme, stressed the crucial importance of greater people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in the 30th anniversary of China-ROK diplomatic relations, proposed four suggestions on the transformation and upgrading of SMEs including government policy support, more R&D investment, dedicated agencies and service platforms, and stressed that the manufacturing industry will have broad opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution. 

Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Huang Yiyang, Deputy Director of the Executive Committee of the In-depth Cooperation Zone Su Kun and Vice President of the Macau University of Science and Technology Pang Chuan respectively spoke on topics such as the  implementation of the Global Development Initiative and cooperation opportunities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Director of the Policy Research and Regional Development Bureau Cheong Chok Man made concluding remarks. 

Facilitating in-depth exchanges in a lively atmosphere, the Dialogue received positive response. Guests from various communities present at the Dialogue all believe that the Global Development Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping is of great significance. Macao will surely embark on a path of development and transformation with its own characteristics by bringing the institutional advantage of “One Country, Two Systems” into full play and taking an active part in national strategies including the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative. 

It is agreed that this Dialogue is highly relevant for meeting current needs. Considering the specific economic environment at present, the Dialogue sets up a new platform and makes a fresh attempt for greater international exchanges on Macao’s transformation and development. It also boosts the confidence and resolve of leveraging Macao’s unique strength and cultivating emerging industries and sends a positive signal to various communities of the SAR and the international community. It is hoped that with this Dialogue as an opportunity, more will be achieved in terms of “inviting in” and “going out” and external exchanges and cooperation will be further expanded to draw on international experience for Macao’s economic diversification and transformation.