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MECC 5th Anniversary Cocktail

8 November 2018

Macau European Chamber of Commerce celebrates 5th Anniversary
Continuing its core role in bridging EU-Macau-China relationships

The Macau European Chamber of Commerce (herein referred to as “MECC” or “the Chamber”) commemorated the 5th anniversary of its establishment today at a cocktail reception held at The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central, celebrating the special moment with distinguished guests and members.

The cocktail celebration was attended by Ms. Zhang Jianhua, Assistant Director-General of the Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macau SAR; Mr. Ran Bo, Director of Policy Research Department of the Commissioner’s Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macau SAR; Mr. Lionel Leong, Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macau SAR Government; Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of Macao Government Tourism Office; Mr. Sam Lei, Executive Director of Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, and Consuls General representing European countries.

Throughout the year, MECC has been pursuing its commitment to further promoting the bilateral relationship between Macau and the European Union (the “EU”), continuing to adhere to its role as a platform for China-EU cooperation. Various achievements and activities took place in the past year such as an exclusive pre-launch visit to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (“HZMB”) in January, which was jointly organised with the Portuguese-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In addition, a keynote luncheon was held in October with Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group and Chairman and Independent non-executive Director of Wynn Macau, Limited, where he shared thoughts with MECC members on the new commercial opportunities across Macau, Hong Kong and China following the opening of HZMB. Furthermore, MECC has organised a high-level luncheon with Ms. Wang Dong, Deputy Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macau SAR in the same month.

Dr. Ambrose So, Honorary Chairman of MECC and Chairman of the Board of Directors of SJM, said in his speech during the cocktail celebration, “Over the past five years, we have actively engaged European enterprises and businesses in Macau through a multitude of channels and activities, highlighting Macau’s role as the platform for Sino-Western exchange. MECC’s mission continues to be clear: to promote all Macau-Europe ties, and to reinforce Macau’s positioning as a world centre of tourism and leisure and as a platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries. The rise of the Greater Bay Area and the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will bring more opportunities to the European organisations in Macau, and with your continued enlarged support, MECC will play a bigger role in promoting collaboration and friendship between Europe and China through Macau.”

Ambassador Carmen Cano, Head of the EU Office to Hong Kong and Macao, quoted a phrase from Ms. Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the European Commission, in her speech, “Connectivity is the way to the future. The more connected we are, the more opportunities we have.” Ambassador Cano further elaborated, “The EU itself is a beautiful example of successful connectivity: we have been connecting our Member States, business communities and people in Europe. The EU now wants to extend this to Asia, deepening the ties that already exist, improving connections between Europe and Asia, while bringing our values and approach in doing so. The objective of the Macau SAR Government to diversify its economy and the development of the Greater Bay Area – another example of connectivity – will no doubt bring more growth opportunities to Macau and the region.  With many ambitious plans and opportunities lying ahead, my office will work closely with the Macau SAR Government and EU businesses to make the most of them.”

Mr. Paulo Cunha Alves, Consul General of Portugal in Macau and Hong Kong, said, “Through the bonds of history, culture, trade and investment and people, the EU and Macau has been in close and successful relations for decades. In addition to the political, trade and economic ties, we have also witnessed an expansion of EU-Macau relations in other important areas such as culture, education, environment and legal matters. The EU is fully committed to continue promoting Europe-Macau exchanges, and the opportunities to further deepen our bilateral relations are tremendous as Macau´s paradigm is evolving. In this overall context, MECC plays a paramount role, acting as the middleman to foster networking, mutual knowledge and information exchange.”

President of the Board of Directors of MECC, Professor Kevin Thompson, said in his speech, “In the year of 2018, merchandise imports from mainland China and the EU increased significantly year-on-year respectively in the first nine months. Consider more generally, the direction of travel. With economic power shifting to Asia, a new generation of opportunities comes into view, and for the Greater Bay Area, it is a view defined by the opening of the HZMB, effectively bringing the metropolis within a one-hour living circle. In the inter-connecting physical infrastructure of a concrete and symbolic icon, cross-border integration is made manifest.

“In an animated and productive roundtable discussion organised by MECC with the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong, recognition was given to the mutuality of interests invested in strengthening commercial and financial links between Macau and Europe. Subsequent roundtables with Alan Jukes, former board member of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund; and with visiting EU members of Parliament, have proved similarly dynamic. 2018 has been quite some year, making MECC quite some Chamber of Chambers.”

MECC is determined to continue providing opportunities to visit and engage in discussion with innovative businesses, high-brand, high-value companies, Ministers, Secretaries, and inspired 21st Century entrepreneurs.  In the coming year, foreseeing significant economic opportunities brought by the HZMB and Greater Bay Area initiative amid challenging global trade tensions, MECC will focus on increasing cohesion among European chambers of commerce and businesses in Macau. It will continue to promote business networking and set up collaborative initiatives in areas where European entities have much to offer Macau, increasing efforts to boost not only commercial investment, but also to encourage cultural and tourism exchanges, as well as stimulate EU-Macau-China interactions.

The MECC 5th anniversary cocktail event was supported by Ocean Gardens as a premium sponsor, and has received generous sponsorship from different companies in the private sector, as honorary and special sponsors of the event.

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