Ho Iat Seng, chief executive of China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), on Tuesday delivered a policy address for fiscal year 2024, stressing further economic recovery and diversification.
Macao witnessed rapid economic recovery during the past year after the COVID-19 pandemic, achieved a stable and harmonious overall social situation, and steadily progressed with various causes, Ho said, noting unbalanced recovery and development, as well as difficulties faced by certain industries, enterprises and residents due to impacts of the pandemic.
Looking to 2024, the chief executive said the Macao SAR government will focus on consolidating economic recovery, working together on economic diversification, optimizing people's livelihood, and promoting development.
The Macao SAR government will compile an evaluation index system on economic diversification in accordance with the recently released development program for appropriate economic diversification, Ho said.
Efforts will be made to optimize and help grow Macao's comprehensive tourism and leisure industry, enhance promotions, deepen cross-sectoral integration with industries such as gourmet food, sports, and conventions and exhibitions, strictly put in place new gaming laws, actively promote the development of major industries of big health, modern finance, conventions and exhibitions, and culture and sports, and continuously optimize plans to attract talent, Ho said in the address.
He also said the Macao SAR government will work to help all civil servants and people of all walks of life in Macao to strengthen their awareness of safeguarding national security, increase their abilities to do so and ensure the results, vowing to firmly safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, resolutely prevent and contain external forces' interference with affairs of the Macao SAR, and combat any force that uses Macao to undermine national security.
The government will pragmatically progress with supporting legislation on safeguarding national security, persevere in implementing and improving relevant legal systems and enforcement mechanisms, fully support advisers to the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Macao SAR to perform their duties in accordance with the law, and step up publicity and education on love for the country and for Macao.
Ho also stressed needs to complete the election of the sixth chief executive of the Macao SAR in a fair, just and clean manner in accordance with the Macao SAR Basic Law and Appendix I and the newly revised law for electing the chief executive.
The Macao SAR government will speed up advancing the building of the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, neighboring Zhuhai city, make sure to give a satisfactory report around the third founding anniversary of the zone in September 2024, continue deepening the linkage of legal rules and mechanisms between Macao and Hengqin, further facilitate cross-border flow of personnel, goods, capital and information, and support and encourage Macao residents to work and live in Hengqin.
(Cover: An aerial view of China's Macao Special Administrative Region, October 1, 2023. /CFP)