Portugal should seize the opportunities of the Chinese “Belt and Road” initiative, Macau chief executive says

15 May 2019

Portugal should take advantage of the development opportunities provided by the “Belt and Road” initiative, as Macau plans to do, Macau’s Chief Executive said on Tuesday in Lisbon.

Chui Sai On, speaking at a reception hosted by the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) government in Lisbon, during an official visit to Portugal, recalled that China and Portugal are good friends and partners and that the Global Strategic Partnership established between the two is being extended.

The Chief Executive also recalled that this initiative from China deserved Portugal’s strong support and active participation and argued that the relations of friendship and cooperation between China and Portugal gave new impetus to the friendly exchange between Macau and Portugal.

“In this context, this visit to Portugal, at the invitation of the Portuguese government and at the head of the Macao SAR Government delegation, has a special meaning,” said the Chief Executive.

Chui stressed that the Macau SAR Government places great value on cooperation with Portugal and recalled the reciprocal visits over the years with dignitaries and senior officials from both governments. Since 2011, he noted, there have been five meetings of the Macau-Portugal Joint Commission, several cooperation agreements have been signed and cooperation projects have been launched in various fields, which proves the good results of this cooperation.

He noted the close cultural and human exchange with strong historical roots between both sides, adding that those who walk the streets of Macau easily find written signs both in Chinese and Portuguese, as well as in the Historic Centre of Macau having many buildings in the Portuguese style.

Chui Sai On recalled that the Portuguese born in Macau, the Portuguese living in Macau and Portuguese businesspeople are committed and contribute to the development of the region.

Meanwhile, Portugal’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, pointed out that relations between Portugal and China and relations between Portugal and Macau are longstanding, and recent visits by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Portugal and the President of the Portuguese Republic to China strengthen this close relationship between the two countries, noting that Macau is the great historical link between Portugal and China, but one that also looks to the future.

Also on Tuesday, the Macau Government and the Ministry of Economy of Portugal signed a Memorandum of Understanding on education, training and research in the area of tourism, which aims to promote the joint development of training and dual degree programmes, among other projects of common interest.

The Memorandum of Understanding – valid for an initial period of three years and renewable – was signed by the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of Macau, Alexis Tam Chon Weng and the Secretary of State for Tourism of Portugal, Ana Mendes Godinho. (Macauhub)