The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, 22 March, met with the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to China, Mr Mohamed Abdulla Al-Dehaimi, to exchange views on how to bolster cooperation between the two places in economic matters, financial services and tourism.
During a meeting held at the Government Headquarters in Macao, the Chief Executive welcomed Mr Al-Dehaimi’s visit to the city, and gave him a briefing on Macao’s latest developments.
Since the establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) in 1999, the city had attained – with support from the Central Government and based on joint effort from all sectors of the community – steady progress, and accomplished many achievements in a number of fields, including in economic matters, tourism, education and healthcare. Macao had also dedicated utmost effort to advancing adequate economic diversification, Mr Ho said.
Discussing local effort to counter COVID-19, Mr Ho said Macao was a safe travel destination amid the global pandemic, noting the city had not recorded any new case of local COVID-19 infection for nearly 12 months.
The Chief Executive said the tourism sector was a pillar industry in Macao; it was steadily recovering from the serious impact wrought by the pandemic. Mr Ho added that the Macao SAR Government expected that visitor arrivals to Macao could gradually increase in the second half of 2021.
The Macao SAR Government was well aware of the importance of pushing forward with the city’s economic diversification, Mr Ho said. Looking ahead, the Government would devote further effort to development in Macao, namely in the finance sector, healthcare services, in science and technology, and in the field of cultural industries. Favourable policies covering Macao – such as those introduced by the Central Government regarding financial services – would help further the city’s contribution to the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Mr Ho added.
The Chief Executive pointed out Macao had no barriers to free flow of capital and offered a low-tax environment, adding that the city was also pressing ahead with the establishment of a bond market, with support from the Central Government. These competitive advantages would help attract increasing amounts of foreign investment to Macao. Noting Qatar had professional experience in financial services, Mr Ho said Macao looked forward to exploring fresh opportunities for cooperation in this sector.
During the meeting, Mr Al-Dehaimi said his family and he had made multiple trips to Macao in the past, and they had fond memories from the city.
The Ambassador said Qatar and Macao could jointly explore cooperation in a number of fields, including a wide range of opportunities available in the financial services sector and in tourism. He added that the next FIFA World Cup, to take place in Qatar in 2022, offered a complementary opportunity for both sides to foster cooperation, particularly in matters related to tourism.
On financial cooperation, Mr Al-Dehaimi said that parties engaged in the financial services sector in Qatar had expressed interest in exploring opportunities in the markets of Macao and the remainder of the Greater Bay Area, adding that both sides should enhance cooperation in this matter.
The Ambassador also said Macao’s effort against COVID-19 and in boosting post-pandemic economic recovery would be a reference point for Qatar.
The Chief Executive concurred that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 was a prime opportunity for both sides to strengthen cooperation in tourism. Macao and Qatar would step up effort to enhance people-to-people exchanges and to foster cooperation in tourism once the pandemic situation improved.
During the meeting, the two officials also discussed how to facilitate movement of people between Macao and Qatar, and the launch of regular flights between both places.
Macao officials attending the meeting included: the Chief-of-Office of the Chief Executive’s Office, Ms Hoi Lai Fong; the Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Monetary Authority of Macao, Mr Chan Sau San.
Government Information Bureau: