POLICY ADDRESS DELIVERS PATH FOR GROWTH
The Macao SAR Government is to push ahead in 2017 with policies meant to give new impetus to the development of the city and deliver a fresh vitality to the economy. This strategy was set out in the Policy Address for Fiscal Year 2017, which was called “Development Plan in Progress for Building a Perfect Home”.
The Macao economy should grow again this year after two years of adjustment, Chief Executive Chui Sai On said in November 2016 when he delivered the Policy Address to the Legislative Assembly. The Chief Executive added that the Policy Address was built on Macao SAR Government’s first Five-Year Development Plan, unveiled in 2016, which plots the course of Macao’s socio-economic development from 2016 to 2020.
“We will promote economic diversification and the continuous long-term development of Macao. The economy had undergone “deep adjustment” in 2016 but that the city’s situation overall “remained stable,” the Chief Executive said. The Government plans to implement a series of measures to support SMEs development, assist local SMEs to play a more important role in fostering local and regional cooperation. The Government is planning initiatives to give SMEs a part in enhancing tourist facilities, in particular to make Macao as World Centre of Tourism and Leisure.
The Chief Executive said his government wished to facilitate the development of E-commerce and is considering adopting a way of certifying online shops. The authorities are actively promoting collaboration between the Macao Young Entrepreneur Incubation Centre and SMEs in the city and are preparing to expand the coverage of the Young Entrepreneurs Aid Scheme.
The Chief Executive urged casino operators in Macao to keep increasing their attractions other than gaming, with a view of making Macao more competitive in the international market for leisure. He said his government would push for more co-operation between casino operators and operators of places to eat and drink, and between casino operators and creative businesses.
The Government intends to put greater emphasis on promoting the development of low-cost hotels, theme parks and integrated shopping centres. The Chief Executive and his team expect to complete the drafting of the Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan, the first plan of its kind, in 2017.
Strengthening regional co-operation
The Policy Address noted that Macao would contribute more actively to the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, known as the “Belt and Road” initiative. The Chief Executive said the city would be in a better position to seize opportunities for development arising from measures taken by the Central Government to support Macao.
The SAR Government will keep acting on the Framework Agreement on Co-operation Between Guangdong and Macao. Meanwhile, the Macao authorities intend to cooperate more closely with the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region, and promote closer partnerships with Beijing, Jiangsu and Tianjin.
The Individual Travel Scheme of Yachts between Zhongshan and Macao was launched in 2016. The SAR Government will strive to have the scheme extended to the Nansha, Hengqin and Qianhai Area of the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free-Trade Zone.
The SAR Government is committed to increasing the importance of Macao as a Commercial and Trade Cooperation Service Platform between China and Portuguesespeaking Countries, in accordance with the “One Platform” policy. The Chief Executive said this commitment entailed facilitating the arrangements for settlement in renminbi of trade between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, which the Central Government supports.
Support for emerging industries
To sustain moderate economic diversification, the Government pays close attention to the development of emerging industries. The Government will put more effort into supporting bids by Macao enterprises in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry to hold international events, with a view to bringing more of these events to Macao. The Policy Address encouraged Macao brands and cultural and creative businesses in the city to take part in international exhibitions and trade fairs.
The Policy Address contained a raft of measures for expediting economic diversification. These include measures to increase resources for investment in the Guangdong-Macau Traditional Chinese Medicine Technology Industrial Park on Hengqin Island, and to help enterprises operating in the park and related businesses in Macao to promote their products in Portuguese-speaking Countries.
The text of the Macao SAR Government Policy Address for Fiscal Year 2017, in Chinese and Portuguese, is available for downloading from the Macao Government Portal website at www.gov.mo. The website also has summaries in English of aspects of the Policy Address.