Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon, who is also the spokesman for the government’s top advisory Executive Council, has announced that the government will upgrade the area of responsibility of the Economic Services Bureau (DSE) in February when it will also be tasked with promoting Macao’s scientific and technological innovation.
Cheong also said that the upgraded bureau, to be called Economic and Technological Development Bureau (DSEDT), and the government’s Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT) will perform their respective duties “based on division of labour”, with the aim of promoting the city’s industry-university-research cooperation.
Following the upgrading of the Economic Services Bureau, the Science and Technology Development Fund will become part of the portfolio of Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong, who oversees the Economic Services Bureau, a change from the current situation in which the fund is directly overseen by Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng.
Addressing a press conference at Government Headquarters, Cheong said that the government has finished drafting an administrative regulation (by-law) on the new bureau’s organisational structure and operation, which will take effect on 1 February.
Government-drafted by-laws, officially known as administrative regulations, do not require the legislature’s approval.
Cheong said that the local government has decided to restructure the Economic Services Bureau by adding the function of promoting the city’s scientific and technological innovation to its area of responsibility, with the aim of grasping the opportunities brought by the development of an international science and technology innovation centre in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and making use of scientific and technological innovation to assist in the city’s economic diversification drive.
Cheong said that the government will keep the Science and Technology Development Fund, which was set up in 2004, so as to continue supporting the city’s scientific and technological research.
Cheong said that following the DSE upgrading, the Economic and Technological Development Bureau and the Science and Technology Development Fund will perform their respective duties “based on division of labour” in order to accelerate the promotion of Macao’s industry-university-research cooperation, to promote the practical application of the city’s scientific and technological research achievements, and to realise the industrialisation and commercialisation of scientific and technological research achievements.
The Economic Services Bureau was established in 1982. Its organisational structure and operation has been amended several times since its inception, with the latest amendments coming into force in 2017.
A new department, the Technology Department, will be set up within the new Economic and Technological Development Bureau, Cheong said.
The Economic Services Bureau currently has five departments.
The new Technology Department will be tasked with coordinating and promoting the government’s work in the scientific and technological area, Cheong said.
Scholars and commentators have called for Macao’s gradual development into an international sci-tech and fintech hub.