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Macau to create two technology centers to support Portuguese-speaking projects

Macau announced today the creation of two Sino-Lusophone centers to support the establishment of Lusophone “advanced technology projects” in the Greater Bay region of China, with grants and collaborations with universities and companies.

The head of the territory’s executive, Ho Iat Seng, had announced last week, during the presentation of the Government Action Lines (LAG) for 2023, the establishment of a Sino-Lusophone Science and Technology Center, but today, during the sectoral debate for the area of ​​Economy and Finance, the Government clarified that, after all, there are two spaces.

“One center in the Deep Cooperation Zone and another to be created in Macau,” noted the director of the Economic Services, Anton Tai Kin Ip, referring to the area of ​​cooperation between the province of Guangdong and Macau, in Hengqin (island of Mountain).

The Greater Bay is a Beijing project that aims to create a metropolis from the special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong, and nine cities in Guangdong province, with more than 60 million inhabitants (Photo internet reproduction)

In the deputies’ question session, parliamentarian Kou Kam Fai questioned government members about the functioning and prospects for these centers, not least because, he said, “often the results do not show great effectiveness, but they are always great investments.”

Tai Kin Ip said that the ultimate goal is to allow “advanced technology projects from PLP [Portuguese-speaking countries] to enter the Greater Bay market.”

In addition, added the official, “scholarships and [will be made] articulations between universities and also companies.”

The Greater Bay is a Beijing project that aims to create a metropolis from the special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong, and nine cities in Guangdong province, with more than 60 million inhabitants.

Also within the scope of Sino-Lusophone cooperation, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, today underlined that, in 2023, the year in which the 20th anniversary of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Forum Macau), “the exchange and cooperation between Mainland China, Macau and Portuguese-speaking countries, in terms of trade, culture, conventions and exhibitions, training, among other areas, will be taken to a new level.”

For the year, the Macau administration also hopes to start the preparatory work for the 6th Ministerial Conference of Forum Macau, which was not held in 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to strengthening economic and commercial exchanges between China and Portuguese-speaking partners, Macau plans to “promote the construction of a platform for the provision of financial services” between the two sides and a “center for regulating transactions in RMB [renminbi, Chinese currency] for Portuguese-speaking countries,” said Lei Wai Fong.

Also according to the secretary, the Chinese special administrative region wants to “encourage Macau banks to incessantly provide cross-border financing services to Portuguese-speaking countries, expanding promotional actions on products and services denominated in RMB.”

After a year of “redoubled trials,” following the covid-19 pandemic, Lei Wai Nong noted that “the main axis” of government action for the portfolio he leads is to accelerate economic recovery and promote “adequate diversification” of the territory.

Macau closed its borders in March 2020 and anyone arriving in the territory – with the exception of mainland China – is obliged to comply with quarantine in hotels designated by the authorities, currently set at five days.

Strict border restrictions have had a strong impact on tourism and gambling, pillars of the local economy.

With information from Notícias ao Minuto

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