Macao and Guangdong have vowed to stay vigilant against the novel coronavirus threat and further strengthen their joint COVID-19 control and prevention measures, according to a statement by the Macao Government Information Bureau (GCS) about a meeting between Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng and his delegation with Guangdong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Secretary Li Xi, Guangdong Governor Ma Xingrui and other senior officials of the neighbouring province of Guangdong on Saturday.
The working meeting at Guangzhou’s Zhudao Hotel was part of Ho’s four-day working visit to eight cities of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) in Guangdong. The tour ends today.
While in Guangzhou, Ho’s delegation visited a pharmaceutical firm, which is the largest-single herb-production company in southern China, according to the GCS statement, which did not name the company.
During the meeting with Guangdong officials, Ho expressed his gratitude to the province for supporting Macao in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Guangdong has not only provided Macao with strong assistance in fighting the disease and keeping the food supply stable during the pandemic but also has offered enormous support in terms of the resumption – since July – of the flow of people from Guangdong able to travel to Macao under the facilitated individual travel scheme, Ho was quoted as saying.
Guangdong has also helped people from Macao travel quarantine-free to the mainland, he added.
Macao is a safe city in terms of risk from COVID-19, Ho pointed out in the meeting. However, the chief executive was adamant that the Macao government will not relax its epidemic-control effort, despite the success of its measures so far, the statement said.
Ho also said that the Macao government would further reinforce its effort to achieve economic recovery and diversification, stepping up public investment in infrastructure to protect Macao residents’ employment prospects.
Regarding the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, Ho pointed out that a basic framework for the initiative is ready. He called for further concerted effort to introduce relevant policies in a timely manner, the statement said.
Ho also said that his current GBA tour was seeking to define a path for Macao to contribute further to the area’s development. Thanks to the support of each city so far visited, the tour has already been productive and offered inspirational ideas, the statement quoted Ho as saying.
The statement quoted CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee Secretary Li as saying that he was looking forward to extending Guangdong-Macao cooperation. Li said further efforts should be made to optimise existing mechanisms and connections, advance development of the Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, introduce a greater number of policies and measures benefiting people moving between the two places either to work or to live, promote further exchanges among young people, and strengthen joint COVID-19 prevention and control work
Li said that Guangdong was steadfast in implementing policies and aspirations outlined by President Xi Jinping in a speech delivered at last year’s gathering to mark the 40th anniversary of Shenzhen as a special economic zone; as well as instructions given by the president in speeches he made during a recent visit to Guangdong.
Li noted that Xi is paying great attention to the Greater Bay Area, as well as to Guangdong-Macao cooperation. Li underlined that the president has issued multiple important directives concerning Hengqin’s development and Macao-Zhuhai ties.
Li also said, according to the statement, that Guangdong will spare no effort to support Ho’s ongoing efforts, based on the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, to achieve the adequate diversification of Macao’s economy and advance the development of the Greater Bay Area.
Ho’s delegation comprises Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong and other senior officials.