MACAO, December 6, 2017 – The Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, Ip Peng Kin, led a delegation from Macao to attend the 2nd Global Mazu Culture Forum (“the Forum”) and the 19th China – Meizhou Mazu Cultural Tourism Festival on Meizhou Island in the city of Putian, Fujian Province on 1st – 3rd December, and met with the Mayor of Putian, Li Jianhui. During the occasion, the Macao delegation also attended the 3rd International Academic Seminar on Mazu Culture and the International Seminar on “Mazu Culture and the Spirit of the Maritime Silk Road”, as well as the opening ceremony of the Arts and Crafts World Expo in Xianyou County.
The delegation of Macao includes the Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Advisor of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Stella Leong, Head of Destination Marketing Department of MGTO, Betty Fok, and Head of the Division of Research and Publications of Cultural Affairs Bureau, Wong Man Fai, among others.
The Global Mazu Culture Forum is jointly organized by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, State Oceanic Administration, China National Tourism Administration, State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the Macao SAR Government and the People’s Government of Fujian Province. Vice Chairman of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Qi Xuchun, and Vice Governor of Fujian Province, Li Dejin, attended the opening ceremony. The Forum also read out the congratulatory letter from the Chief Executive of the Macao SAR, Chui Sai On. During the opening ceremony, Deputy Director of the State Oceanic Administration, Shi Qingfeng, Deputy Director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, Liu Shuguang, Director General of Bureau of International Cooperation of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Wang Lei, Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Ip Peng Kin, and Deputy Chief of Protocol Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Tonga, Curtis Leonard Tu’ihalangingie, delivered their keynote speeches.
In his keynote speech, Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ip Peng Kin, stated that Fujian and Macao have maintained a close relationship with each other, with Fujian being Macao’s major collaborative partner in its commitment to the Belt and Road development. The Chief Executive of the Macao SAR and the Governor of Fujian Province have met with each other twice this year for an exchange of perspectives on mutual cooperation, suggesting the close collaborative ties between Fujian and Macao. In terms of tourism cooperation, Fujian Provincial Tourism Development Committee presented Fujian’s tourism products to industry delegates from around the world at the 5th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo this year. The two sides also carried out joint promotions overseas to showcase their tourism products and raise their destination profile, with tourism presentations held in Indonesia and Malaysia this year.
In addition, the Mayor of Putian, Li Jianhui, together with personnel from the Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, Bureau of Commerce and Tourism Bureau of Putian, met and exchanged opinions with the delegation from Macao. Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ip Peng Kin, shared about Macao’s new designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy and the array of spectacular events and festivals held annually in Macao. Both parties agreed to enhance mutual cooperation in tourism and culture and support each other in organizing more mega events. In the first ten months of 2017, Macao has welcomed about 690,000 visitors from Fujian. The number of arrivals marked a year-on-year increase of 8% and made Fujian rank the third largest contributor of visitors among other provinces.
The 2nd Global Mazu Culture Forum comprises a total of five sub-forums. The Cultural Affairs Bureau invited Emeritus Professor of Macao Polytechnic Institute, Dr. Tam Sai Po, to attend one of the sub-forums – the 3rd International Academic Seminar on Mazu Culture and deliver a keynote speech in the opening ceremony. In the International Seminar on “Mazu Culture and the Spirit of the Maritime Silk Road” as another sub-forum, academic personnel of the Department of Cultural Heritage of Cultural Affairs Bureau presented their thesis and engaged in academic discussions with other participants from 24 countries and regions.