Guangzhou and Macau to create cultural zone

Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Issue 1361, Page 3
Word count: 941
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Guangzhou and Macau Governments reached a consensus yesterday to jointly develop a cultural and creative industry zone and also a cruise home port tourism project in the Nansha district.

The cooperation was confirmed during the conference held in Nansha, Guangzhou, which was attended by an official delegation from Guangzhou and Macau led by Mayor Wan Qingliang and Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On.

In addition, four cooperation agreements were inked in the areas of tourism, trade and investment as well as meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE).

According to Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen, who is also the head representing the Macau side in the Guangzhou-Macau Cooperation Task Group, the cultural and creative industry zone will be the “start project” for the two cities in Nansha, adding that the SAR Government will outline initiatives to encourage local enterprise to participate in the planning.

However, the secretary did not deem that this project in Nansha would duplicate the development in Macau.

“Both Hengqin and Nansha might have noticed the advantages of Macau in developing the cultural and creative industries and thus are keen to cooperate with us,” he told reporters after the closed door conference.

Macau Investment and Development Co., Ltd., which was set up in June to operate and manage the Guangdong-Macau Cooperation Industrial Park on Hengqin Island, can also take part in the development in Nansha.

The secretary said the SAR will not need to establish a new company for each cooperation project with different areas on the mainland.

Furthermore, Tam disclosed that the capital of Guangdong province and the SAR will study the future development of the Nansha cruise port, with an aim to become the home port for itineraries including Guangzhou, Macau and the West of Pearl River (Jiangmen, Zhongshan and Zhuhai).

During the cooperation conference held at the Nansha Grand Hotel, the two sides recognised the importance to continue to reinforce mutual ties, believing that it would have “positive effects” on maintaining sustainable development in both places, shaping the SAR into a world travel and leisure hub and promoting economic diversification.

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On and Guangzhou Mayor Wan Qingliang also agreed that since the Guangzhou-Macau Cooperation Task Group was formed in April, the work has been “progressing orderly”, especially in the areas of tourism, trade and MICE.

The chief executive has agreed that his administration will support and assist local enterprise take their initial steps into Nansha, and continue to help Nansha expand in the international market through its role as a service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.

The two cities will also study the feasibility of jointly organising Portuguese-language education courses and cooperation in vocational training.

A new era

According to Wan Qingliang, Guangzhou-Macau cooperation has entered a “brand new development stage”, meaning that the level of cooperation has been upgraded from “regional strategy” to “national strategy”, and the content of cooperation has continued to “deepen” and realise “new breakthroughs”.

He suggested that more effort should be put into enhancing the cooperation mechanism and efficiency, especially by reinforcing high-level meetings and improving the joint conference system to create a “highly efficient communication and decision-making platform”.

He also believed that Guangzhou and Macau should integrate their resources and advantages in the areas of leisure tourism, trade and MICE, Chinese medicine, culture, port logistics and education training, in a bid to promote the coordinated development of the industries.

In addition, the mayor said Nansha should be used as the major platform of Guangzhou-Macau cooperation and establish an “innovative industrial cooperation zone” in the Nansha New Area.

The two sides will also be dedicated to creating the “four new platforms” for “Guangzhou-Macau cooperation, social management and social services, the upgrade of industrial development as well as the economic and trade cooperation services between China and Portuguese-speaking nations”, according to Wan.

Before the end of the conference, four cooperation pacts were signed between different authorities from the two cities.

The memorandum of understanding of cooperation in the field of tourism will see Guangzhou and Macau establish a “co-working system”, promote each other’s tourism products, reinforce exchanges and cooperation in dealing with emergencies and tourist complaints, and encourage Macau people to set up tourism training institutes in Nansha with the support of certain incentives and policies.

The cooperation agreement for the MICE industry will also see the two places form a coordination group to establish regular contacts and information exchange, and support each other’s MICE publicity campaigns. The authorities will encourage enterprises and organisations to bring in internationally renowned MICE events and companies.

Moreover, the signing of the other two protocols meant that a special business matching session between Guangzhou and Macau trade associations will be held between October 20 and 23 in the SAR, and the Guangzhou and Macau Branded Products Fair will take place between January 13 and 15, 2012 in the capital of Guangdong province.

After the signing ceremony, Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On had a thirty minute meeting with Guangzhou Municipal Party Committee Secretary Zhang Guangning.

On the other hand, in response to a reporter’s question, Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen reiterated the government’s concerns over the prices of fresh food in Macau.

He said the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau and the Economic Services Bureau have been “constantly organising delegations” to visit the mainland and Southeast Asia region in the hope to source more areas for food supply, so that “ prices can be stabilised and local people can be offered more choice”.

He added that he believed progress will be made thanks to the “continuous efforts of the government and industry”.

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