More Portuguese-language cooperation seen as part of Greater Bay project

  • Lusa
  • 24 September 2021

Macau's government wants to focus on cooperation in "emerging fields" with Portuguese-language countries, as part of the development of the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macau Greater Bay Area project.

Macau’s regional government said on Friday that it wants to focus on cooperation in “emerging fields” with Portuguese-language countries, as part of the development of the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macau Greater Bay Area project, a planned megalopolis that China sees as a future integrated economic area taking a leading role globally in the coming years.

The Greater Bay Area consists of the Macau and Hong Kong special administrative regions and nine cities in Guangdong province in southern China, all with a combined population of over 80 million.

“In the future, besides increasing cooperation in traditional fields, such as the economy, trade, the convention and exhibition sector and infrastructure, it will proactively seek cooperation in emerging fields, such as traditional Chinese medicine, the financial sector, the high-tech industries and environmental protection,” Macau’s chief executive, Ho Iat Seng, said during a meeting of regional leaders in Chengdu, in Sichuan province.

Ho Iat Seng said that Macau intended to “maximise its role” as a platform “for exchange and cooperation … deepening cultural exchange and cooperation with Portuguese-language countries and the Pan-Pearl River Delta region, as well as other parts of the world.”

The Pan-PRD region covers a much larger area than the Greater Bay Area, including as it does nine provinces in and around the delta: Guangdong but also Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangxi, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan.

The chief executive noted that an extraordinary ministerial meeting of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries (also known as Forum Macao) is to be held in October and stressed that Macau’s government “attaches great importance to building the Sino-Portuguese platform for economic and trade cooperation.”

In his speech, Ho Iat Seng highlighted the potential of the new Hengqin cooperation zone project, which is to be managed by Macau and Guangdong province, the commitment to contribute to the integrated development of industries in the region, and what he said was the need to strengthen the “national awareness and patriotism of Macau’s compatriots in the development” of China.

Macau was handed back to China at the end of 1999, after centuries of rule by Portugal.