Beijing, Macao ink $1b deals at symposium

Updated: 2013-07-12 07:07

By Emma Dai in Macao (China Daily)

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Beijing will enhance cooperation with Macao in exhibition industry

Beijing and Macao have signed agreements on multiple fronts to strengthen cooperation between the national capital and the special administrative region.

On Wednesday, delegates at the Second Beijing Macao Cooperation and Exchange Symposium signed deals worth 6.21 billion yuan ($1.01 billion) and covering 57 projects, according to the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

"Beijing will enhance cooperation with Macao in the development of the exhibition and conference industry," said Li Luxia, deputy head of the council's Beijing office.

"We will invite delegations from Macao to take part in international trade fairs in Beijing and seek more business opportunities. Meanwhile, through Macao, we expect to build stronger links with more Portuguese-speaking countries and to explore markets in Europe and South America," said Li.

Irene Lau Kuan-va, executive director of the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, said that entrepreneurs in Macao have benefited greatly from the meetings with their Beijing peers.

"We are looking forward to visiting Beijing to gather more first-hand information of the market. Meanwhile, we will try our best to implement the deals signed during the symposium, which create a better environment for communication and exchanges between the two cities," Irene said.

In the limelight are agreements on cultural and creative sectors, with products and services being offered in both directions.

Sociedade de Jogos de Macau signed an agreement with Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group to form a joint venture on a cultural exchange project in Macao named "Wonderland of Art and Literature", with an estimated investment of 2 billion yuan.

Meanwhile, FAB Investment, a Beijing-based producer of digital devices, signed a 630 million yuan agreement on Wednesday with Duty Group, a Macao tea and healthy beverage producer, to export its technology to Macao.

FAB's key product is a computerized terminal designed to help members of the public conduct various administrative tasks, from paying utility bills to booking air tickets. The Beijing government plans to install the machines in the city's residential communities.

"We plan to upgrade the terminal into an integrated platform for tourism services, information and e-commerce," said Zhang Hongcheng, chairman of FAB Investment.

The project is to be launched in Macao by the end of this year, with the software being localized to better serve the market.

Zhang said Macao is a city with a high population density, a fact that suits the business well.

"A large number of tourists and businessmen visit Macao every year. That makes Macao a perfect showroom for our product. We plan to use Macao as a foothold for exploration of the overseas markets," he said.

First held in the capital city by Beijing municipal government and the Macao Special Administrative Region's government last September, the symposium is designed to encourage interaction between the two cities.

Among the 13 project agreements signed last year, six have been realized and some have received extended investment. The other seven projects are still at the negotiation stage.