Associations ask EC for additional financial support measures and more efforts to increase vaccination rates
General Manager Ho Iat Seng continued his series of meetings with local associations ahead of his 2022 political speech, with most demands centered on increased financial support for employees and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and an increase in local vaccination rate. that could allow the resumption of normal cross-border flows.
In a meeting with the Macao Trade Association yesterday, the group urged the EC to push forward policies to launch additional financial support measures, aside from recent stimulus policies announced after the latest Covid-19 outbreak. in the city.
Earlier this month, the Macao SAR government announced on Monday morning a new round of measures to help SMEs and low-income residents grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
The package includes eight measures aimed at “maintaining the survival of business establishments and securing employment” and includes cash distributions and tax breaks for workers and businesses.
The association also discussed how to boost Hengqin’s business development within the framework of regional cooperation between Guangdong and Macao, and deepen the training of qualified personnel from different fields.
The group led by Mao Iao Lai also called for more policies that could align SAR with national efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, and the appropriate use of the local financial reserve – currently over MOP 600 billion. – to implement pandemic control measures and improve public administration reform.
The chairman of the association’s board of directors, Kou Hoi In, the vice-chairman, Chui Sai Cheong, – also respectively chairman and deputy chairman of the Legislative Assembly of Macao SAR – and other deputies. chairmen of the board also presented their views on efforts to increase cooperation with Guangdong.
These views covered the development of the Deep Cooperation Zone and its coordination, the joint pandemic prevention work between Zhuhai and Macao, as well as the efforts to jointly develop a modern financial sector, a large health industry and support for cross-border students and training of interest in aerospace science and technology.
Ho was quoted as saying that the measures launched by the government must have “the data as a basis and that the eight measures targeting SMEs and low-income people follow the principle of prudent use of the financial reserve”.
The EC also added that efforts will be made to increase the inoculation rate of the COVID-19 vaccine, so as to create an immune barrier that could help accelerate the recovery of the local economy by resuming normal border flows. .
According to the most recent update, a total of 425,260 people in Macau were vaccinated with at least one dose of Sinopharm or BioNTech vaccines, but only 328,961 received the required two doses.
Economy and Finance Secretary Lei Wai Nong, who also attended the meeting, also said that a draft union law proposal will be launched for public consultation very soon.
The EC also recently held a meeting with the United Citizens Association of Macau, which recently elected three lawmakers in this year’s AL elections, incumbents Si Ka Lon and Song Pek Kei and newcomer Lei Leong Wong.
The head of the association, Si Ka Lon, stressed during the meeting that one of the most essential works will be to increase the rate of inoculation of the vaccine against COVID-19, in order to attract more tourists. mainland China and help revive the local economy.
The alliance also shows the results of a survey conducted last month into residents’ expectations for political discourse for the next fiscal year, in which about 4,380 respondents called for the cash distribution program to continue and support. to the creation of a massive medical and insurance fund.
Interviewees also raised questions about social security, construction of social housing, pandemic prevention measures, pandemic support and employment.
Another meeting was also held with the General Association of Macau Women, with their proposals for the political speech mainly focusing on how to improve the social and living conditions of local families.
The social group led by Lam Un Mui called for policies to build a “child-friendly city” that could encourage couples to have more children.
He also called for a stable supply of public and private housing and the launch of more policies in favor of the purchase of housing, as well as an expansion of the coverage of subsidies for carers; accelerate the construction of the island medical complex and initiate cooperation of cross-border medical services; optimize complementary means of transport and take advantage of digital media to solve transport problems; and improving further education institutions.