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The “One-Stop Service” programme created by the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM)  provides support for entrepreneurs to start new businesses in Macao. This issue of Macao Image interviewed two companies which are using the “One-Stop Service” to learn more about its effectiveness.

For entrepreneurs who wish to set up businesses designed around children or food, they often face difficulties in communicating with government departments along the way because of strict regulations of safety and quality controls.

IPIM’s “One-Stop Service” dramatically reduces the time business founders spend communicating with government departments and solves any problems investors may encounter during the registration process. It also sends reminders to entrepreneurs throughout the various stages of setting up their businesses, making it possible for entrepreneurs to be fully devoted to their start-ups.

As a mother, Au Un Ieng first came across an “indoor playroom” two years ago. Realising that playrooms are scarce in Macao, she decided to open and run a playroom on her own.

Ms Au’s playroom, Castle-BB, opened in August 2018. Throughout the process of registration, Ms Au had many doubts concerning industrial regulations, safety criteria of furnishing and materials used for equipment in the playroom. Then a friend of hers, who successfully started her own firm, told her that the “One-Stop Service” of IPIM could help solve her problems, stirring her interest in this service. Ms Au found a lot of useful information for investors on the IPIM website, and then directly consulted IPIM to start her business.

“The ‘One-Stop Service’ for investors was really helpful,” Ms Au said. “IPIM constantly reminded me to follow through on even the smallest of details, which is wonderful. Before I knew about this ‘One-Stop Service’, I didn’t even know whom I could go to for help.”

Some of the licences require approval from different departments. The “One-Stop Service” frees investors from visiting various departments in person for information, which simplifies the entire process.

Ms Au spent about one year to find a suitable location, the right furnishings and  to complete all registration procedures for the playroom. IPIM supported Ms Au throughout the process.

“IPIM organised meetings with all relevant government departments such as the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau each month to help sort out all the problems I had during the registration period,” said Ms Au. “They also gave me feedback on the progress at each stage. Whenever I was unsure of anything, I could simply ask them. It is an excellent support system,” she added.

Ms Au said the service is very effective in clarifying all procedures and regulations. She highly recommends the “One-Stop Service” to all investors who want to start their own businesses.

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“The ‘One-Stop Service’ for investors was really helpful. IPIM constantly reminds me to follow through on even the smallest of details, which is wonderful.”Au Un Ieng, founder of Castle-BB

Aiding the food industry

As a tourism destination, Macao abounds in gourmet food. The food processing industry has contributed greatly to Macao’s catering sector. The market for the wholesaling of meat, dry goods and frozen food processing is reaching saturation. Macao restaurants have a stable demand for cooked food processing, which currently are mostly imported from foreign countries. In view of this, 7 Stars Trading Ltd. was established in 2016 and officially started operations in the beginning of 2018, with cooked food processing as its major business. 

“As a local processing factory, we have confidence in our technologies and products,” said Elvis Tam, Special Assistant to the Chairman of 7 Stars Trading. “We can meet the requirements of enterprises and restaurants by providing services such as food preparation and logistic supplies. We passed the international food safety management system and received the quality accreditation of HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point), in early 2018. Our staff are now more knowledgeable about food safety and we can guarantee the high quality of our products.”

In Macao, businesses in the food industry have to follow rigorous regulations. “We need to communicate with a lot of different government departments. The Fire Services Bureau will monitor the fire safety of our venue; the Municipal Affairs Bureau and the Health Bureau will regulate our hygiene standard and food safety, while the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau as well as the Economic Service Bureau and the Environmental Protection Bureau will check our floor plans of the factory,” noted Mr Tam.

He added: “The ‘One-Stop Service’ provided by IPIM helps us to communicate with all relevant departments, and this shortened the time we spent in handling the registration procedures.”

According to Mr Tam, in addition to helping small and medium-sized enterprises to communicate with government departments, the “One-Stop Service” for investors can reduce the operating cost and enhance the quality of Macao’s products and services. He told Macao Image that 7 Stars Trading came to know IPIM services because of his friends’ recommendation, and now the company is happy to promote it to people who intend to start up their own businesses.

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7 Stars Trading provides high quality cooked food processing for local restaurants and meets Macao’s rigorous requirements for the food industry. “The ‘One-Stop Service’ provided by IPIM helps us to communicate with all relevant departments, and this shortened the time we spent in handling registration procedures.”Elvis Tam, 7 Stars Trading