SCIO press conference on the development of Hengqin and Qianhai

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People's Daily:

Mr. Cong mentioned that General Secretary Xi Jinping has inspected Hengqin four times and repeatedly stressed the original inspiration of Hengqin New Area was to diversify Macao's economy. We would like to know, as of today, what achievements have been made in the construction of Hengqin, and what achievements have been made to diversify Macao's industries? Thank you. 

Lin Keqing:

Thank you for your questions. In 2009, General Secretary Xi Jinping, who was China's vice president at that time, raised the curtain of reform and opening-up in Hengqin. Over the past decades, Hengqin has been transformed from a boarder island into a pioneer area of China's reform and opening-up. The incredible developments have laid a solid foundation for the construction of the Guangdong-Macao in-depth cooperation zone.

First, economic strength has increased substantially with the rapid growth of key economic indicators, the constant improvement of regional gross domestic product and financial revenue, and the sound momentum of development of new industries and new forms of business. The new economic growth point has gained robust growth with increasingly powerful comprehensive strength and development potential.

Second, the infrastructure has been constantly improved. The new checkpoint at the Hengqin Port has adopted the customs-clearance mode known as "joint inspection and one-time release". The network of trunk roads featuring "five horizontal axes and three longitudinal axes" has basically taken shape. The artery of communications connected through Hengqin Bridge has opened to traffic.

Third, we have further promoted innovation in institutions and rolled out a total of 622 innovative measures, 4 of them were selected as the best practice cases in national free trade zones, and 11 of them were replicated and promoted to the rest of the country. A total of 537 types of government services in the Greater Bay Area can now be handled online, and 237 cross-border administrative approval items can be processed online as well.

Fourth, Hengqin's role in promoting an appropriately diversified economy in Macao has achieved initial success with a total of 4,578 Macao-funded enterprises registered there, and 314 Macao enterprises operating in this region. The Guangdong-Macao Cooperation Industrial Park in Hengqin has provided land for 25 projects with an agreed investment of 79.3 billion yuan. The Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park of Cooperation between Guangdong and Macao has fostered 50 Macao pharmaceutical projects. Four state key laboratories in Macao have set up branches in Hengqin, incubating 613 innovation and startup projects from Macao. The unidirectional verification of professional qualifications has started. A total of 589 tour guides, 57 construction enterprises, 269 professionals in the field of architecture from Hong Kong and Macao, and 53 physicians and 7 community workers from Macao have started practicing in Hengqin.

Fifth, Macao residents' lives in Hengqin have become increasingly convenient. The Macao New Neighborhood Project will provide comfortable accommodation for around 10,000 Macao residents. A total of 7,756 Macao residents have applied for residence cards in Hengqin. Nearly 100,000 Macao residents seek medical advice in Hengqin each year. The quota of Macao-tagged vehicles allowed to enter Hengqin increased to 10,000 this year. The Hengqin Comprehensive Service Center of the General Union of Neighborhood Associations of Macao has provided service for nearly 70,000 mainland and Macao residents living in Hengqin.

At the same time, we should note that the development of Hengqin's real economy is still inadequate. The city's service role for Macao is yet to be sufficiently visible. It remains an arduous task to promote the diversity of Macao's industrial development. The construction of the cooperation zone is a glorious mission with heavy responsibilities. We will profoundly comprehend and precisely grasp the strategic intentions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the Central Committee of the CPC, hold fast to the original intention to appropriately diversify Macao's economy, concentrate on "the four new" strategic positioning and "the four new" major tasks, and work collectively with Macao to turn the great blueprint depicted by General Secretary Xi Jinping and the Central Committee of the CPC into reality. Thank you. 

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