Since the liberalisation of the gaming industry in 2002, the overall economy of Macao has been experiencing a robust growth. As the development of the gaming industry has matured and large integrated resorts and casinos are on their way to completion, Macao has entered a new phase of development. The tradition gaming tourism will expand and will include gaming, exhibition and conventions, leisure, culture, resorts, catering, entertainment and tourism.In addition to the advantages such as optimising the industrial structure and boosting a healthy and sustainable development of the economy, the diversification of Macao’s economy can also bring new business opportunities for local enterprises. Being an important element of Macao’s economic diversification, the development of the convention and exhibition industry will also stimulate growth in other industries such as retailing, catering, telecommunications and logistics. With the completion of large area of exhibition space and advancement of exhibition facilities, Macao SMEs can also grasp the business opportunities brought about by the development of convention and exhibition industry, and explore new markets through increasing collaboration with local and overseas business visitors.

IPIM’S NEW SERVICES DESIGNED TO ASSIST LOCAL SMES

SMEs play an important role in Macao’s economy. They are contributing to Macao by creating employment and stabilising society. Also, robust economic growth has brought many new trade opportunities to local SMEs, yet just like other cities experiencing rapid economic growth, Macao’s SMEs increasingly find themselves encountering new challenges and difficulties. For example, rapid economic growth may give rise to continued operation costs and the shortage of human resources.

Active assistance from government is vital for development of SMEs in today’s fierce business competition. A research targeting the demand for government services by local SMEs points out that local SMEs have the greatest demand for the following services: funding and credit guarantee, information and consultation and staff training, to name a few 1 .

In order to further strengthen its service network for local SMEs, IPIM (Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute) decided to launch two brand new services, namely the “SME Service Centre” and the “Macao Trade and Invest Kiosk”. In collaboration with Macao Economic Services, IPIM aims to provide more comprehensive consultation services, to assist in products and services promotions, to further streamline and integrate the services and resources in order to better serve the needs of local SMEs. Through “Macao Business Support Centre” and “Small and Medium Enterprise Centre”, IPIM aspires to assist local SMEs to grasp trade opportunities and explore markets.

Source: 1 GUO Yongzhong, “Research and International Comparison of Macao’s Small and Medium Enterprises” (Translated Title), Published by Macao Polytechnic Institute, 2007

SME SERVICE CENTRE

IPIM is always there to serve the needs of local SMEs. The Institute assists local SMEs to expand their markets by providing them with various services and facilities. In accordance with the policies of Macao Government in assisting local SMEs, IPIM has established the SME Service Centre (SMEC) as a part of the Macao Business Support Centre (MBSC). SMEC provides a one-stop consultation service to SMEs in various ways including assistance in industrial and commercial administrative procedures, information on investment environment, business opportunities, business matching, participation in convention and exhibition activities, local and overseas market updates. By providing additional and enhanced support services to SMEs, SMEC aims to assist local SMEs to enhance their competitiveness in order to have a better grasp of the business opportunities available as well as embracing challenges ahead.

At the same time, in order to assist local enterprises grasp the trade opportunities brought about by the development of the convention and exhibition industry, IPIM will integrate the promotion of the convention and exhibition industry development as part of the work of SMEC. Apart from the assistance offered to exhibition organisers and enterprises around the world, we will also strengthen the guidance provided to SMEs in different industries in grasping business opportunities brought by the growth areas in the economy. As such, IPIM has been working with the convention and exhibition industry and trade organisations of various industries such as manufacturing, import and export, retail and catering in the organisation of a series of workshops on how SMEs can utilise business opportunities brought about by the convention and exhibition industry since July. More workshops in the logistics and booth setup industries will be organised in September in order to allow for a thorough comprehension of the opportunities derived from the convention and exhibition industry and to show local SMEs from different industries to grasp the relevant trade opportunities.

Furthermore, aiming to cope with the problem of limited capital that SMEs face, the SAR Government has launched three programmes, namely the SME support scheme, SME credit guarantee scheme and SME special credit guarantee scheme in 2003, providing interest-free loans and credit guarantees to relieve the funding burden that SMEs suffer. From the launch of the programmes to September 2006, a total of 613 applications were approved with the total aid amounting to MOP65.4 million, 60 credit guarantee applications have been approved, amounting to bank loans of MOP53.89 million. epresentative from the Macao Economic Services at SMEC will provide an in-house advisory and referral service on the three schemes, as well as the Tax Regime Incentive and Interest Rates Regime. It is hoped that the financial assistance provided to SMEs will help foster their business operations and development.

The Macao Business Support Centre (MBSC), the functional office of IPIM, not only provides space for the holding of different kinds of business meetings, seminars, enterprise business matching and exhibitions, but also actively supports and co-operates with regional organisations to set up representative offices. In order to assist local SMEs to strengthen connections with entrepreneurs, investors and business visitors around the world, and to shore up MBSC as a platform for the establishment of relationships, enterprise connections and co-operation between local SMEs and overseas enterprises, SMEC will enhance cooperation with intermediaries and enterprises by organising more seminars, business matching sessions and exhibitions.

MACAO TRADE AND INVEST KIOSK

In order to match the rapid growth of the convention and exhibition industry, and to strengthen the promotion of Macao trade information as well as the products and services of local SMEs, IPIM is working with the Association of Advertising Agents of Macau in the establishment of the Macao Trade and Invest Kiosk, an interactive trade and economic electronic medium targeting local entrepreneurs and business visitors. As the unveiling ceremony was on 23 August, the Kiosk is now ready to start operations and more Kiosks will be set up in the near future at the airport, ferry terminal, the border gate, major convention and exhibition venues and business centres from September.

KIOSK CONTENTS

Contents Description
Investment Environment -Information on Macao’s business environment and major economic statistics
-Introduction of IPIM’s services, functions and contact information
Business Guide -Introduction of IPIM’s “One-stop Service”
-Introduction and contact information of local economic and trade institutions (including Government Departments and Business institutions)
-Trade directory of business services
-Local Map and useful information for visitors
Business Opportunities -Self-service enquiry and consultation service
Trade and Economic Activities -Information on local conferences and exhibitions
-Schedules of local fairs and exhibitions
-Introduction and information of MIF
-Information on Macao Trade Fairs and on-line application for publications
Promotion of Macao Brand Name Products and Services -Promotional Service for the products and services of local enterprises
-Macao’s Trade Directory
-Contacts of related departments


SPECIAL PACKAGE FOR LOCAL SMES TO PROMOTE BUSINESS

Finding an effective way to promote one’s business is the key to any company’s success. Nevertheless, SMEs are likely to find a lack of sound promotional outlets available due to their limited resources. Being aware of this problem, IPIM has taken the opportunity to introduce our brand new promotional service designed for helping SMEs to expand their businesses and seize business opportunities. Please visit Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute’s website www.ipim.gov.mo for more detailed information or contact:

SME SERVICE CENTRE

Address: Macao Business Support Centre
Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute 19th and 20th Floor, China Civil Plaza Building, 263 Alameda Dr. Carlos d’Assumpção, Macao
Enquiries: 28 728 212 Fax: 28 727 123
Email: mbsc@ipim.gov.mo
Website: http//www.ipim.gov.mo