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Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng discusses budget with CPPCC members

Top advisors voice support but suggest more help for SMEs, fewer civil servants and expert advice on the development of Hengqin.

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Top advisors voice support but suggest more help for SMEs, fewer civil servants and expert advice on the development of Hengqin.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:43 am

Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng has addressed a closed-door meeting with Macao members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) about the government’s budget bill for next year, stressing that the Covid-19 vaccination rate must increase in order to be able to revive the local tourism sector.

Ho stressed that in order for the city’s economy to fully recover, a high inoculation rate is a must because it is a prerequisite for reviving Macao’s tourism industry. He urged CPPCC members to support the government’s novel coronavirus control and pandemic measures and encourage residents to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

CPPCC members Chui Sai Cheong, Lao Nga Wong, Suen Yan Kwong, Ho Ion Sang, Cheong Meng Seng and Vong Hin Fai discussed topics such as the general plan for the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, plans to revitalise the city’s economy and schemes to support local small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Businessman Liu Chak Wan, a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the CPPCC, pointed out that most local enterprises are small- and medium-sized, adding that it was difficult for them to diversify. He said that the government should guide them in the right direction in order to adapt to the city’s development plan. He also said that the government should limit the number of civil servants, urging public entities to hire only a “reasonable” number of people.

Ma Iao Lai, a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the CPPCC, underlined that as Guangdong and Macao will be jointly administering the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, the Macao government should recruit “influential experts” to accelerate the process of consolidating the details of the plan.

Ho thanked the attendees for voicing their opinions on next year’s proposed budget and vowed to announce more details about the general plan for the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin as soon as possible. 

He said the plan makes it clear that the zone will be used for Macao to develop four types of “new industries” – scientific and technological research and the development and high-end manufacturing industries, traditional Chinese medicine and other Macao brand industries, cultural tourism, exhibitions and trade, and modern financial services – in order to improve Macao’s competitiveness and economy.

Twenty-six of the 37 Macao members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference attended the meeting.

Ho will present the government’s 2022 budget bill to the Legislative Assembly next month for debate and vote.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:43 am

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