Opening the Gate for Pan-Pearl River Delta Co-operation, Promoting Regional Economic Prosperity

 

Since 2003, sponsored and promoted by and with the great support of the nine mainland Provinces, namely Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan and Yunnan and the two Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, the Pan-Pearl River Delta Co-operation (also known as the "9+2") has gained extensive attention and appreciation of the respective regions. Under the guidance of the central government and supported by the relevant local governments, the 1st "Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Co-operation and Development Forum" was held successively in Hong Kong, Macao and Guangzhou in June 2004 with the theme 'Prosperity through Partnership' and the 'Pan-PRD Co-operation Frame Agreement' was signed. Later, the 1st "Pan-Pearl River Delta Economic and Trade Fair" was held in Guangzhou, 847 contracts were signed with a total amount of RMB292.6 billion1, the Pan-PRD co-operation was officially set in motion. In July 2005, the 2nd "Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Co-operation and Development Forum" and the "Pan-Pearl River Delta Economic and Trade Fair" were held in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 703 project contracts were signed with a total amount of RMB115 billion 2, a satisfying result to say the least.

The 3rd Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) Regional Co-operation and Development Forum were held in Kunming, Yunnan Province in June 2006. Differing from the previous two meetings, the 3rd Pan-PRD Forum invited officials from ASEAN countries to talk with the participants of the eleven provinces/regions of the Pan-PRD Region, as they were seeking a mutual co-operative development. According to the latest announcement by the hosting organisation, 1,019 investment co-operation projects, worth RMB200 billion 3, were signed.

By an active participation in Regional Co-operation, Macao attained substantial achievements

A Macao business delegation organised by IPIM participated in the 3rd Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) Regional Co-operation and Development Forum. Apart from the continuous support given by major business associations, many SME's were present, including some newly set up companies; delegates were from different sectors including real estate, financial services, tourism, construction, medical services, logistics, conventions, hotels and trade, with a wider range of enterprises showing interest. Delegates hoped to open up new business opportunities through this visit to Yunnan. Since the development of the "9+2" regional co-operation, mutual co-operation between Macao and the regions have broadened the scope and reinforced economic integration. Macao delegation signed 36 co-operation projects worth of RMB3.2 billion4 at the 1st and 2nd Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Co-operation and Development Forums.

Members of the Macao delegation achieved results they expected in the 3rd Pan-Pearl River Delta Forum. During the PPRD business matching, enterprises from Macao officially signed 15 contracts involving over RMB 2.2 billion. Six of which were co-operation agreements between business associations and organisations, one project was a donation to a primary school and the other eight were co-operation projects between enterprises, related sectors including infrastructure, manufacture, tourism, education and aviation.5

Promoting the function of the economic and trade platform. Jointly developing the markets of the Portuguese-speaking countries

The 3rd Pan-Pearl River Delta Economic and Trade Fair comprised of six exhibition halls, with a total area of 50,000 square feet. The design concept and decoration of the 'Macao Pavilion' was obviously different and stood out from other booths. The 'Macao Pavilion' with an area of 1000 sq. metres was divided into 4 sections, including "An Overall Introduction to Macao", "Macao Business Associations", "Made in Macao" and "Macao Enterprises" sections with a total of 30 booths, respectively for government organisations, business associations and enterprises. The 'Macao Pavilion' had adopted 'World Heritage Site' as design concept and used the Ruins of St. Paul as the backdrop, with regional features being made outstanding, so as to promote Macao as a city of leisure and entertainment, bringing about more vitality and humanity to the exhibition.

Furthermore, the delegation held a number of specific promotion activities in the PPRD Forum. "The Pan-PRD and Portuguese Speaking Countries Economic and Trade Co-operation Conference", organised by IPIM and co-organised by the related departments in China with the theme of "Taking Advantage of Macao as a Platform, Seizing Business Development Opportunities" was held with huge success. Mr. Tang Li Lu, Assistant Governor of Yunnan Province, Mr. Lee Peng Hong, President of IPIM and Ms. Zhong Min, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) representative in Hong Kong and Macao, delivered speeches during the conference. Mr. Jackson Chang, Executive Director of IPIM, Mrs. Rita Santos, Co-ordinator of the Supporting Office to the Secretariat of China and Portuguese – Speaking Countries Economic Co-operation Forum (Macao), Mr. Eduardo Ambrosio, President of the International Lusophone Markets Business Association and Mr. Manuel Antonio Geraldes, Deputy Consul-General of Portugal in Hong Kong and Macao gave introduction on the Portuguese-speaking countries investment environment and the strength of Macao as a platform.

Combining the convention industry with the platform advantages and jointly enhancing regional competitiveness

By participating in the Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Co-operation and Development Forum, Macao's Convention andz Exhibition Industry has the impetus to accelerate its development. The convention and exhibition industry is regarded as a service platform, which fit in perfectly with the theme of this year's Forum. So far, there has been a lot of feedback, including opinions from various departments and organisations in Yunnan, showing a great interest for the 'Macao Pavilion'. The convention and exhibition industry is similar to other industries in terms of 'Going Global – Ushering in investment' strategy. Through participation in the Pan-Pearl River Delta Forum and related activities, progress is made in strengthening the convention and exhibition industry in Macao, promoting integration with other regions and improving the standards. The purpose of this trip was not only to promote Macao as a platform for the co-operation between the Pan-Pearl River Delta and Portuguese-speaking countries, but also to ensure that the platform can combine with the convention and exhibition industry, which functions as a main supporting service to the former.

The Pan Pearl River Delta Co-operation has certainly provided new opportunities, as well as expanding the hinterland market for the development of Macao's economy; in addition, the PPRD Co-operation is in line with Macao SAR Government's strategy to act as a business service platform so as to optimise the industrial structure. By co-operating with all provinces/cities within the Pan Pearl River Delta Region the function of the platform may be viewed as providing new opportunities for the development and diversification of Macao's economy. In the future Macao will be continually integrating with the other regions by actively participating and seizing the opportunities brought about by the Pan Pearl River co-operation, it can only develop further in all aspects, in terms of enhancing regional competitiveness and achieving economic benefits.

1 Source: The Pan-Pearl River Delta Co-operation Official Site: http://www.pprd.org.cn/zhuanti/recalling/
200605240066.htm, 24 June 2006
2 Same as above
3 Source The Pan-Pearl River Delta Co-operation Official Site: http://www.pprd.org.cn/pprd/third/news/photo/200606/t20060611_9160.htm,
11 June 2006/6/22
4 Source The Pan-Pearl River Delta Co-operation Official Site: http://www.pprd.org.cn/zhuanti/recalling/200605240066.htm,
24 June 2005
5 Source Quoted by Mr. Lee Peng Hong "It would benefit the development of the convention and exhibition industry in Macao" Macao Daily, 8 June 2006

This article was prepared by IPIM’s Research and Information Division.