Shanghai-Macao Cooperation Conference crucial progress for bilateral ties

7 June 2021

The first Shanghai-Macao Cooperation Conference is a crucial and fresh opportunity for bilateral ties between the two places, representing the launch of a high-level cooperation mechanism and a platform for dialogue. Macao and Shanghai will step up effort to deepen exchange across a broad range of sectors.

The Shanghai-Macao Cooperation Conference was held today in Shanghai. The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, and the Mayor of Shanghai, Mr Gong Zheng, led respective delegations attending the conference. Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, Mr Huang Liuquan, and Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), Mr Yao Jian, were also present at the conference.

During the Cooperation Conference, Macao and Shanghai signed an aggregate of five agreements. They included: a framework agreement regarding strengthening exchange and cooperation on key areas of the online new economy, smart city matters, and small and medium-sized enterprises; a letter of intent on initiating Shanghai and Macao exchange and cooperation on cultural affairs and tourism; an agreement on sports cooperation; a letter of intent on cooperation in meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) business; and a framework agreement between the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies and the University of Macau, on academic exchange and cooperation.

In his opening remarks, the Chief Executive said Macao and Shanghai had long-standing close ties. The inaugural edition of the Cooperation Conference helped establish an optimised mechanism for enriching content for cooperation and expanding fields for exchange.

Shanghai’s achievements in economic and trade matters, as well as in finance and manufacturing, and especially its advances in urban construction and urban management, were a reference point for Macao, added Mr Ho.

The Chief Executive stated that Macao and Shanghai enjoyed good prospects for wide cooperation in fields such as financial services, traditional Chinese medicine, and scientific and technological innovation. He also talked about Macao endeavouring to develop modern financial services. The two sides could work together to create fresh conditions for mutual progress. These included fostering of training for financial professionals; promoting a presence in Macao for Shanghai financial institutions; encouraging Shanghai enterprises to issue bonds in Macao; and bolstering exchanges between financial-service providers in the two cities.

Mr Ho suggested Macao and Shanghai could step up effort to promote high-quality development of traditional Chinese medicine. Macao’s position as a “bridgehead” would help introduce quality Chinese medicine products from the mainland to Portuguese-speaking countries, and the European Union, as well as countries and regions covered by the “Belt and Road” initiative, he said.

Macao’s possession of four State Key Laboratories – i.e., respectively in researching traditional Chinese medicine, microelectronics, the Internet of things for a smart city, and planetary sciences – along with year-long cooperation in technology-based policing, would help accelerate progress in scientific and technological innovation, and smart city development, added Mr Ho.

Speaking during the Cooperation Conference, the Mayor of Shanghai, Mr Gong, said Shanghai and Macao had seen growing ties in recent years in a number of fields, such as financial services, MICE, cultural affairs, tourism and youth exchanges. He added he was confident the two cities would in future enjoy even brighter prospects than they had so far.

Mr Gong pointed out two aspirations for cooperation: 1) to explore jointly opportunities arising from respectively the “Belt and Road” initiative, the Yangtze River Delta Regional Integrated Development initiative, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area; and 2) implement proactively initiatives outlined in the cooperation proposal in this first Shanghai-Macao Cooperation Conference, and the five agreements signed that cover respective economic and professional fields.

The Vice Mayor of Shanghai, Mr Zong Ming, and Macao’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Mr Lei Wai Nong, each delivered a speech at the Shanghai-Macao Cooperation Conference, reviewing Shanghai-Macao ties and outlining prospects for future cooperation.

Members of the two government delegations also addressed the topics of cooperation in modern economic services; cooperation on cultural affairs and tourism; and cooperation on MICE business.

In his speech, Secretary Lei mentioned three pieces of advice regarding Shanghai-Macao cooperation. The first was to deepen the cooperation mechanism in accordance with the country’s development needs. The second was pragmatically to expand the scope for cooperation, in fields such as education, culture and tourism, innovative industries, science and technology innovation, smart city development, urban governance, traditional Chinese medicine, healthcare, and environmental protection. The third piece of advice offered by Secretary Lei, highlighted the importance of establishing key cooperation projects, such as a signature MICE event co-organised by the two cities.

Mr Ho, who is leading the Macao delegation, arrived in Shanghai on Thursday (3 June) for a four-day visit.

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