MACAO, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's Macao pays great attention to advancing closer Macao-Portugal ties, and playing its strategic role in linking China and Portugal, chief executive Chui Sai On said here on Saturday when meeting with the Portuguese foreign minister.
During the fifth meeting of the Macao-Portugal Joint Committee which was co-chaired by Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva, Chui briefed the Portuguese officials on Macao's latest developments, in particular how the government was integrating the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) into the overall development of China.
Chui and Augusto Santos Silva jointly met the media after the meeting and shared their agreement on future cooperation between the two sides, including economic, trade, culture, language training, and education issues.
Chui said the meeting reviewed ongoing achievements in education, language and culture, and explored fresh opportunities for further cooperation in innovation and sports.
Macao would assist Portuguese businesses interested in taking part in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative, the chief executive said.
He added that as Macao had been designated a China-Portuguese-speaking Countries Young Entrepreneur and Innovation Exchange Center, a number of young Portuguese entrepreneurs leading innovative projects would be invited to visit Macao next year.
Macao would also establish more courses and academic entities focusing on the Portuguese language, he said.
The chief executive said the year 2019 would mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Portugal, and the 20th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland.
Macao was always dedicated to furthering ties between China and Portugal, and to making more contributions to the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries, he added.
Augusto Santos Silva said the two sides had discussed a number of topics, including consumer protection and mutual recognition of academic degrees in higher education.
Friendly relations between Macao and Portugal served as an important gateway for the Portuguese business sector to enhance investment in the Chinese mainland, he said.
The foreign minister said closer Macao-Portugal ties not only benefited Chinese and Portuguese people, but also benefited people in other Portuguese-speaking countries such as Brazil, Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Timor-Leste.
He added that China and Portugal both strove for economic development and sustainability. Strengthening mutual trust between the two countries would encourage further exchanges in all aspects between their peoples, businesses and governments.