Macao’s 2021 policy address focuses on anti-pandemic, economy recovery

MACAO, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) — Chief Executive of China’s Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Ho Iat Seng delivered the policy address for the fiscal year 2021 on Monday afternoon, focusing on anti-pandemic measures and economic recovery.

Ho gave his second policy address at the Legislative Assembly, titled “Strengthening the foundation for consolidation, tackling challenges head on.”

Ho said thanks to the support and guidance of the central government, the support and cooperation of various mainland areas and the joint efforts of all Macao residents, Macao has achieved zero deaths, zero community infections, zero nosocomial infections with low severe cases and high cure rates in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macao is now a safe tourist destination with low risk of epidemic situation, and mainland authorities have resumed the issuance of travel permit for mainland residents as tourists to Macao, the chief executive added.

Ho said that the SAR government will have eight main tasks in 2021, including epidemic prevention and control, economic recovery, people’s livelihood and welfare, moderately diversified and sustainable economic development, public administration reform, cultural and educational development, safeguarding national security, and deepening of regional cooperation.

Ho reiterated that in 2021 the SAR government will stick to the epidemic prevention strategy of “preventing imports and local resurgence,” including improving the import and export health and quarantine mechanism, and monitoring the import of cold-chain food to prevent the COVID-19 infection.

In terms of economic recovery, the chief executive said China has been forming a new dual circulation development pattern, where domestic and foreign markets can boost each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay.

For Macao, which is in the intersection of dual circulation, this new pattern is not only an opportunity and an advantage, but also a responsibility and a duty, Ho added.

The policy address mentioned several measures to promote a moderately diversified economy, such as industry repositioning, bond market and wealth management, industrialization of traditional Chinese medicine, cross-border e-commerce, and industrialization of the cultural and sport sectors.

Ho also said Macao will actively follow the blueprints in the country’s proposals for formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan. For example, the SAR government will work with Guangdong province and Zhuhai city to build Hengqin Guangdong-Macao Deep Cooperation Zone.

In terms of safeguarding national security, Ho vowed that Macao will constantly improve the related legal system and enforcement mechanism, strengthen law enforcement, promote publicity and education, and enhance residents’ awareness of national security.

The chief executive said the future of Macao has always been closely linked with the mainland. With the support of the central government and the people of the motherland, and the concerted efforts of Macao residents, the SAR government is confident to face all kinds of challenges, and break new ground for the practice of “one country, two systems” with Macao characteristics.

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