The Joint Working Committee to Support the Development of Macao into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure has convened on 19 July its Annual Work Meeting in Macao. During the meeting, members from Mainland China and Macao introduced the progress of the committee’s work in 2020 and 2021, and were given an overview of the development of the cultural and tourism industries of each of the two sides. They also discussed ways to optimise the existing working mechanisms.
A number of topics regarding support for Macao’s integration into national development were discussed at the meeting, including pushing forward implementation of preferential measures for Macao, the Mainland’s support for Macao’s systematic participation in the country’s major cultural and tourism activities, and further promoting the branding of Macao’s major cultural and tourism exhibitions. Participants also discussed ways to strengthen cooperation between the Mainland and Macao in the conventions and exhibitions sector, support Macao’s comprehensive participation and contribution to the construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative, in a bid to build Macao as a multiple-culture exchange and cooperation base with an emphasis on Chinese culture.
In terms of support for advancing the Greater Bay Area, participants discussed efforts to promote the implementation of the “Culture and Tourism Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area” in 2021, based on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area cultural and tourism cooperation mechanism. The two sides also discussed the plan’s major tasks for 2021, efforts to strengthen communication mechanism, and jointly push forward the implementation of major initiatives. The meeting addressed ways to deepen cooperation in a number of fields within the Greater Bay Area, including in the arts, cultural industry, intangible cultural heritage, and tourism; to support the construction of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone planned for Hengqin, as well as to promote Macao as a tourism education and training base within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
There were also discussions about the possibility of deepening cultural and tourism cooperation between the Mainland and Macao, plus ways to enhance the substantial results of youth exchange between both sides.
The two Conveners of the Joint Working Committee, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism Zhang Xu and Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao SAR Government, Lei Wai Nong, delivered keynote speeches at the meeting. Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Yao Jian, also addressed the meeting.
Vice Minister Zhang said the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021–2025) of the Central Government clearly proposes to support Macao in its efforts to become a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure, and to develop into a multiple-culture exchange and cooperation base with an emphasis on Chinese culture.He hoped Macao could move forward with further strategic measures to prevent or control the spread of COVID-19, to lead the recovery of activities in the cultural and tourism industries, and develop the high-level cultural and tourism industries in the Greater Bay Area. Such efforts would give play to Macao’s role as a diversified platform and as having a wide international network, helping Macao play an integral part in national cultural development and international cultural exchange, he added. He also said he hoped that the joint committee would fully play its role as top-level body for planning, organising and coordinating such efforts, as well as constantly raising the level of cooperation and creating new prospects for high-quality development in cultural and tourism exchange and cooperation between the Mainland and Macao.
Secretary Lei thanked the long-term support given by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to the Macao SAR Government in the fields of culture and tourism. The Ministry has been strongly encouraging relevant departments of the Mainland to support Macao’s development into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure, which is important for the Macao SAR to spur economic recovery and promote the development of the local cultural and tourism industries in a post-epidemic environment. The development prospects of the cultural and tourism industries between Mainland China and Macao are comprehensive, and the Macao SAR should strive to promote the advantages brought about by the “One Country, two systems” policy, while stepping up its endeavours to become “one centre, one platform and one base”.
Macao also seeks to align with the country’s development strategies and actively participate in advancing the Greater Bay Area project, making efforts to promote the city’s adequate economic diversification and integrate further with the country’s new model of dual-cycle economic development, he added.
Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Yao Jian, stated that Macao pays great attention to the recovery and development of the tourism industry, while actively fighting the epidemic. With support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the issuance oftourist permits from the Mainland was resumed in the third quarter last year, contributing to the recovery of Macao’s tourism. Overall, Macao’s development into “one centre and one base” has so far achieved positive results. To push it forward, the two sides need to explore new ways of working, select target breakthrough points, and muster the strengths of various sectors to achieve innovative development.
He said the first target was to expand the development potential of the tourism industries between Macao and Hengqin Island, the second target is to continue to enrich the supply of tourism products, and the third is to develop digital platforms for the promotion of cultural and tourism products.
We will continue to participate in the work of the joint committee and support Macao’s construction as “one centre and one base”, while promoting Macao’s integration into the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, he added.