Macau should take advantage of “Belt and Road” initiative Chinese diplomat says

9 June 2017

Former Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said in Macau that the “Belt and Road” initiative is paving the way for a more prosperous future for the Macau Special Administrative Region and called for the territory to seize this opportunity provided by China.

Li, who is honorary chairman of the Chinese People’s Foreign Affairs Institute and chairman of the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA), was speaking at the opening ceremony of the International Conference on the “Belt and Road” and the Development of Macau.

Li Zhaoxing, China’s foreign affairs minister from 2003 to 2007, later China’s representative to the United Nations and ambassador to the United States and now a professor at Beijing University, recalled that China’s central government supports Macau and called for the territory to take advantage of the “Belt and Road” to develop even more.

“The Belt and Road” is not only China’s big development plan but also an important opportunity for Macau, Li said.

Macau Chief Executive Chui Sai On said at the opening of the conference that the “Belt and Road” aims to explore new models of international cooperation, as well as to chart new avenues for peace, development and prosperity in the world.

Chui gave assurances that Macau will seize the “Belt and Road” to revitalise the sustainable development of the economy and society of the territory, increasing the well-being of the population and paving the way for its participation in the Chinese initiative.

The Chief Executive also pointed out that economic stability, improving the quality of life of the people, social harmony and deepening of regional cooperation and international exchange allow Macau to participate and support the national development “Belt and Road” strategy.

Chi also recalled that one of the advantages of Macau and its participation in the “Belt and Road” is that Macau was an important trading post on the maritime silk route and maintains lasting historical links with the countries along the route.

“Macau’s socio-economic development is a rich and detailed portrait of trade, cultural exchange and understanding between peoples of the East and West. And these are the unique advantages of Macau and the precious wealth of its society,” he said.

The president of Mota-Engil’s International Strategic Council for Latin America and Africa, former Deputy Prime Minister and former Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paulo Portas, said that Macau can and should be a dynamic platform for the internationalisation of China.

“The fact that Portugal has a strategic partnership with China allows Chinese companies to invest through this platform in Portuguese-speaking countries and conquer more markets in Africa and Latin America,” he said.

The theme of the conference organised by Macau institutions is to discuss issues related to Macau’s participation in the “Belt and Road” along with Guangdong, Fujian and Portuguese-speaking countries and the establishment of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Great Bay Area.

More than 300 senior officials, academics and entrepreneurs from Brazil, China, Portugal, Thailand and Macau are taking part in the conference, which ends on Saturday. (macauhub)