Published: 17:15, May 24, 2024 | Updated: 20:01, May 24, 2024
Macao, Guangxi ink 13 cooperation pacts to leverage synergies
By Li Xiaoyun in Macao
Ho Iat-seng (back left), chief executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region, and Liu Ning (back right), secretary of the CPC Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Committee, attend the cooperation agreement signing ceremony during the 2024 Guangxi-Macao Promotion Conference and Major Project Signing Ceremony in Macao on May 24, 2024. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

In a move to leverage complementary strengths, the Macao Special Administrative Region and Southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region signed 13 agreements on Friday, including agreements on five projects focused on economic and trade collaboration.

The two governments signed a letter of intent, paving the way for comprehensive cooperation in the future. Seven agreements were penned between government departments overseeing culture and tourism, the environment, commerce and trade, and healthcare, as well as between academic institutions — Guangxi University of Chinese Medicine and the University of Macau.

On the business front, five agreements for projects were signed between entities from the China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Industrial Cooperation Zone in Guangxi and Macao-based organizations, including Chongwa (Macao) Financial Asset Exchange, and Macao Electronic Financial Industry Trade Promotion Association.

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Guangxi’s foreign trade reached 693.65 billion yuan in 2023, underscoring the region’s commitment to further opening up with its proximity to the Bay Area and Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam

"The agreement with the Health Bureau of the SAR government aims to promote collaboration in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) medical services, talent cultivation, international exchanges, and the development of TCM culture,” said Li Jiawen, director-general of the Guangxi Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Li added that the two sides will continue to advance the construction of the TCM research and innovation center and joint laboratory co-built by Guangxi and the University of Macau and Macau University of Science and Technology. Leveraging the city’s international reach, the collaboration can help promote Guangxi’s over 7,500 types of TCM resources to overseas markets.

The autonomous region’s rich resources align perfectly with Macao’s pursuit of industrial diversification. The SAR has been ramping up its efforts to promote the tourism and leisure industry, and four nascent industries — healthcare, modern financial services, innovative technology, conventions and exhibitions — as well as culture and sports.

Macao Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng delivers a speech during the 2024 Guangxi-Macao Promotion Conference and Major Project Signing Ceremony in Macao on May 24, 2024. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

“The signing of the agreements covering culture, tourism, environmental protection, trade, as well as the development and research of TCM, will inject new momentum into the collaboration between Guangxi and Macao,” said Macao Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng.

Liu Ning, secretary of the CPC Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Committee, delivers a speech during the 2024 Guangxi-Macao Promotion Conference and Major Project Signing Ceremony in Macao on May 24, 2024. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

“Guangxi is home to several national-level open platforms, including the China-ASEAN Information Habor, China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone, and the Fangchenggang International Medical Opening-up Pilot Zone,” Liu Ning, Party secretary of Guangxi, said. The region has also hosted 20 editions of the China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.

Guangxi’s foreign trade reached 693.65 billion yuan ($95.74 billion) in 2023, a 7.3-percent year-on-year increase, underscoring the region’s commitment to further opening up with its proximity to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam.

“Macao will leverage its unique advantages in tariff regime and as an international free trade port to support Guangxi’s better integration and service to the development of the Greater Bay Area, helping Guangxi become a hub connecting Hong Kong, Macao and ASEAN in the industrial, supply and capital chains,” Ho said.

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Meanwhile, Guangxi is poised to take advantage of its favorable location, policies and resources to jointly build with Macao an ASEAN-oriented platform for greater openness, to help the city expand new spaces for industrial development, Liu said.

As of March this year, Macao had established 219 enterprises in Guangxi, with investment reaching $298 million. Two-way trade between the two regions hit 2.9 billion yuan in 2023. 

Contact the writer at irisli@chinadailyhk.com