Hengqin will continue to support Macao’s economic diversification, Chi Tenghui, director of the Hengqin Finance Association, told reporters on the sidelines of a conference yesterday at the Sheraton hotel in Cotai.
“The number of Macao citizens who are living on [Zhuhai’s] Hengqin [island] has been increasing and the area will continue to support Macao’s economic diversification,” Chi said.
Chi made the remarks at the “International Innovative Investment and Cooperation Conference” co-organised by SunCity Group and the Union for Culture Media Communication of Macao. The aim of the one-day conference was to provide a platform for financial and technology experts, investors and entrepreneurs to exchange ideas and experiences, according to a statement by the co-organisers.
When asked by reporters why the number of people living on Hengqin is still lower than predicted, Chi said, “Everyone should have more patience. I have faith that Hengqin will soon be very well developed.”
According to official data, Hengqin covers an area of 106 square kilometres, compared to Macao’s 32.9 square kilometres. However, while Macao’s population stood at 670,900 at the end of March, Hengqin’s population reportedly still remains under 10,000.
Chi added that “Hengqin has been increasing the housing stock and other facilities for Macao’s fast-growing population. The area will also continue to support Macao’s diversification development.”
At the opening ceremony of the conference, Macao Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT) President Frederico Ma Chi Ngai pointed out that “with the Greater Bay Area [GBA] becoming increasingly more developed, Macao will soon be more engaged in innovation technology.”
Ma, a businessman, added that innovative development in the GBA could encourage and motivate Macao’s new generation to diversify the local economy.
The conference invited keynote speakers to share their research and experience in the past years. One of the topics included “Building translational research and a biopharma ecosystem in China – collaboration between academia, industry and government”, presented by Chen Chen, the head of external innovation for China of German pharmaceutical giant Merck.
Translational research is an effort to build on basic scientific research to create new therapies, medical procedures, or diagnostics, according to Wikipedia.