Nine Macao-licensed vehicles entered Hengqin from Macao on Dec 20, marking the opening of the Chinese mainland to Macao vehicles with single license plates. The occasion also marked the 17th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty over Macao from Portugal to the People’s Republic of China.
Macao vehicles queue up to enter Hengqin. [Photo by Li Jianshu / Zhuhai Daily]
Mak Kin Wah, office director of We Park Investment Co Ltd, became the first Macao businessman to drive into Hengqin. The process only took him 30 seconds thanks to an automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS). He saved nearly 40 minutes on the commute from home to the company’s construction site in Hengqin.
Over the past 17 years, a series of policies favoring Macao have been released by the central, provincial, municipal, and regional governments. This has significantly promoted its moderate economic pluralism. A demonstration for a new approach to cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao under the One Country, Two Systems policy, Hengqin New Area now has 684 Macao-funded enterprises. The vehicle admittance policy further benefits Macao residents living a twin-city life between Macao and Hengqin.
According to Hengqin New Area Bureau of Commerce Port Section chief Zhang Jienan, 30 more Macao motorists have inquired about border-crossing formalities. Eligible motorists can apply for the formalities at any time without providing a large cash deposit.
Wong Sio Chak (Huang Shaoze), Macao SAR secretariat for the security director, said the new policy expedites communication, advances regional cooperation, and thus improves the comprehensive competitiveness of the entire area encompassing Macao and Hengqin.