Town twinning between MSAR and the district of Água Grande in the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe

MACAO, August 10 – Chief Executive Mr. Ho Iat Seng said today that the twinning initiative between the Macau Special Administrative Region (SARM) of the People’s Republic of China and the district of Água Grande in the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, would contribute to seizing the new opportunities arising from the “Belt and Road” initiative, by making better use of the respective strengths of the two places.

The two sides will continue to work closely to increase mutual understanding, so as to intensify mutual benefits and create better prospects for common development.

The chief executive made the remarks during an online ceremony that took place at the seat of government in Macau to mark the signing of the memorandum on town twinning between the two cities.

The memorandum was signed by the Director General and President of the District of Água Grande, Mr. José Maria Fonseca. Among the personalities present at the signing ceremony were the Minister of Justice, Internal Administration and Human Rights of São Tomé and Príncipe, Mr. Cílcio Pires Santos; the Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in MRAS, Mr. Liu Xianfa; and Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in São Tomé and Príncipe, Mr. Hu Bin.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ho said that during the six years of the resumption of diplomatic relations between China and São Tomé and Príncipe, fruitful results have been achieved in several fields and that cultural exchanges continued to intensify. President Xi Jinping reiterated that the relationship between China and São Tomé and Príncipe should be defined as a paradigm for cooperation between a big country and a small country, as well as South-South cooperation. The “One Belt and One Road” initiative proposed by China has enjoyed strong support and active participation from São Tomé and Príncipe, while the two sides have continued to strengthen their cooperation in the areas of infrastructure, economic and commercial issues, culture and training, among others. China was already, for several consecutive years, a crucial market for goods imported by São Tomé and Príncipe. The two countries were developing a comprehensive cooperative partnership.

MSAR is dedicated to advancing its strategic objectives as a global center for tourism and leisure; and as a service platform for trade and business cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, while developing the city as a consolidator of major cooperation projects in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and establishing a basis for multicultural exchange and cooperation emphasizing Chinese culture, Ho said. Macao has also spared no effort to participate in the development of the “Belt and Road” initiative, and in the Greater Bay Area, with the aim of elevating Macao’s position and function in the service of economic development and the opening up of the country.

The Chief Executive said that the twinning of the city between MSAR and the district of Água Grande would consolidate and promote the friendly relationship that existed between the two localities. It has also created an opportunity to systematically expand exchange and cooperation efforts in the economic and trade sectors, tourism, fisheries, culture and civil society. Macao would fully play its role as a business and trade cooperation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, to promote exchanges and cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.

In his speech, the President of the District of Água Grande expressed his warmest welcome to the relationship and the twinning between the two places. Fonseca said the signing of the memorandum will certainly strengthen mutual friendly relations, allowing people from both places to witness and safeguard the friendship established between China and São Tomé and Príncipe.

Fonseca said São Tomé and Príncipe welcomes the prospect of more Macao people being able to visit the country, enjoy the beautiful natural landscapes and experience the warm and hospitable nature of the local people. The District of Água Grande would continue to create favorable conditions for partnership relations to solidify and continue.

According to the city’s twinning memorandum, the two parties will undertake to use their respective advantages, in accordance with the respective laws and regulations of the places, and on the basis of the principles of equality and mutual benefit. This is in order to make the necessary adjustments to enable the establishment of close and stable friendly relations, in order to intensify the joint promotion of prosperity and development for both parties.

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