Industrial Park crucial to boosting economic relations between Macau and rest of China

29 June 2006

Hong Kong, China, 29 June – The Zhuhai-Macau Cross-Border Industrial Park is crucial to the consolidation of economic and commercial relations between Macau and the rest of China, the head of the Macau government, Edmund Ho, said Thursday in Macau.

Speaking at the Forum for Development of Economic and Commercial Cooperation between Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, which took place in Hong Kong, Ho said that the Chinese State Council had authorized that the Zhuhai-Macau industrial border be open 24 hours per day.

He added that the State Council had decided that the customs services, the quality, quarantine and inspection office, as well as the ministry of Public Security would carry out the necessary work under the guidance of its Zhuhai offices.

The Cross-Border Zhuhai-Macau Industrial park, the first of its kind in China, was set up by the Chinese State Council in 2003 and has an area of 0.4 square kilometres and includes part of the Maoshengwei, in the Gongbei area of Zhuhai and Macau’s Ilha Verde.

With a total of 27.5 square kilometers and a population of 480,000 people, in 2005 Macau’s gross domestic product (GDP) of US$11.57 billion.

The Zhuhai special economic area has a population of 1.28 million and its 2004 GDP was US$16 billion.

Ho said he believed that the aim of the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA ) between the Chinese mainland and Macau would be to gradually create a large and integrated market without any obstacles, including institutional innovations, market and resources integration, as well as the reduction of administrative and transaction costs.

Saying that the application of CEPA had been successful, Ho emphasized that with this mechanism, Mainland China and Macau had created, in practice, a free trade area, which meant that goods from Macau can be exported to the rest of China with customs tax exemption.

Ho also said that the application of the policy for individual travel visas, one of the main elements of CEPA, directly supported the Macau tourism industry.

In the first five months of 2006, Macau received over 8.8 million visitors, of which 4.9 million, or 56 percent were from mainland China. (macauhub)