(Xinhua/Huang Wei)

CE met with Guangdong authorities to discuss customs clearance

The Macau SAR government announced today (Wednesday) that Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng held a meeting with Communist Party Secretary of Guangdong province, Li Xi, and the province governor, Ma Xingrui, in which customs clearance and Covid-19 pandemic containment efforts were discussed.

Ho travelled to Guangzhou yesterday for the meeting, where he presented to the Communist Party Secretary the pandemic prevention and control measures adopted in Macau in recent months and pointed out that the situation is currently favourable in the city.

No new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Macau for 55 consecutive days. A total of 45 cases were reported in the city, all of which have already been discharged.

However, currently, only local residents or non-resident workers residing or working in Zhuhai can enter the Chinese province after taking a nucleic acid test proving they are not infected with the novel coronavirus, with similar policies for mainland tourists.

Governments in Guangdong, Macau and Hong Kong are also still discussing how to ease border restrictions in the three regions, but with the neighbouring SAR having yesterday extended quarantine requirements for the Mainland, Macau and Taiwan until July 7.

Several analysts have expressed that the local tourist and gaming industry would only be able to recover until there is a resumption of individual and tour group visas by mainland China to Macau.

Cumulative gaming revenues for the first five months of this year decreased by 73.7 per cent year-on-year to some MOP33 billion, while the number of Mainland China visitors dropped by more than 70 per cent to some 2.3 million between January and April.

According to today’s announcement, Ho highlighted during the meeting the issues related to customs clearance between the two regions, the increase in cooperation in the prevention of the epidemic and the respective customs measures, and expressed that the normal customs operation would favour the construction and development of Greater Bay Area.

Li Xi was said to have stated that the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy was carried out with ‘precision and integrity’, in cooperation with Macau in several areas, including the pandemic prevention and control,

The official added that Guangdong will further deepen cooperation with Macau and proceed with the bilateral cooperation works between Zhuhai and Macau and over the exploration of Hengqin, but without providing updates on possible border restrictions easing.