Macau plays an important role in Sino-Portuguese bilateral relations, and it has achieved remarkable development in various fields over the past 20 years, Paulo Cunha Alves, Consul General of Portugal in Macau and Hong Kong told Chinese state media Xinhua.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the transfer of Macau’s sovereignty to China. Alves said that the Portuguese government has been paying attention to the development of Macau since its return. The ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle has been well implemented in Macau, yielding positive results, Alves said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
Over the past 20 years, Macau has made remarkable progress in economic, social and cultural fields and residents’ living standards have been improved, he said.
Looking into the future, Macau’s integration into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area and the participation in the Belt and Road Initiative will bring unlimited opportunities and promote its diversified economic development, he said.
“Macau has always functioned as a link between Portugal and China and as a gateway to the East. Macau plays an important role in Sino-Portuguese bilateral relations in a wide range of fields,” he said.
Alves highlighted Macau’s role as a platform, citing the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Forum Macau).
The SAR has been designated by the central government as the connecting platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, and this role is very important because of the territory’s uniqueness in the global context, said the consul general.
Under the framework of the Forum Macau, China can carry out bilateral cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries, and Macau can act as a coordinator for multilateral cooperation, he said.
He cited a cooperation project with Cape Verde as an example, in which Portugal provides technology and China provides funding through the China-Portuguese Speaking Countries Cooperation and Development Fund.
In the future, there are many potential areas for Portugal and Macau to cooperate, such as language teaching and collaboration on traditional Chinese medicine between universities, he added.
Alves also cited the tourism cooperation between Macau and Portugal as an example, saying “it is essential not only to train professionals in this field, but also to promote a greater flow of tourists between Portugal and Macau.” DB/Xinhua