The Portuguese consul general for Macao and Hong Kong, Alexandre Leitão, has set up a 12-member advisory council to discuss matters of interest to the Portuguese community in the region.
The Lusa news agency reports that its members include the prominent lawyer Jorge Neto Valente; the president of the charitable Holy House of Mercy, António José de Freitas; the president of the Casa de Portugal, Maria Amélia António; the director of the Instituto Português do Oriente, Patrícia Ribeiro; and several others.
Half of the members are natives of Macao, with a third being women, Lusa says.
“We try to have younger people, older people, people who are from the legal area, others who are from the [civil society] area, some more connected to culture,” Alexandre Leitão told the agency, adding that an attempt was made to gather a “reasonably representative” group.
When asked about the lack of members from Hong Kong, the envoy said that “My idea is that this advisory board has its work in Portuguese and it is very difficult to find representatives from Hong Kong [who speak the language].”
However, the consul-general said focus groups could be set up to discuss Hong Kong issues.
The functioning of the new advisory body, the promotion of the Portuguese language and culture, the Portuguese School of Macau and assistance with consular representation were some of the topics discussed at the first meeting, which took place today.
The next meeting is expected to take place in September.