Macau government to continue supporting SMEs

17 November 2006

Macau, China, 17 Nov – The Macau government will continue to provide fiscal support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the territory, the head of the government, Edmund Ho, said Thursday on presenting the Government Lines of Action for 2007.

Ho said that the government would create a Services Provision Center for SMEs and try to ensure that the Macau electricity company would lower its electricity tariffs in order to reduce the operating costs of those companies.

Of the measures outlined for SMEs to obtain loans, the most important will be the widening of the areas in which the funds may be applied, the simplification of application requirements, the increase of the maximum amount to be granted and an increase in the payback period.

In his speech Ho said that the government would continue to actively promote regional cooperation in order to transform Macau into a services platform with unique attractions and the capacity to provide high quality services, opening up new routes for its development and becoming a part of the general surge of regional development.

The head of the government also said that together with efforts to promote local development, it would increase strategic cooperation with the territories of the Great Pearl River Delta, especially the neighboring provinces of Guangdong and Fujian.

“We will strategically grasp the unique opportunities for development offered by the economic area to the West of the strait and the central regions, in order to reach local sustainable development within a context in which all parties are winners in cooperation projects. We will also push for partnership projects between local companies and companies on the Chinese Mainland and companies of neighboring regions and boost economic multilateral cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries,” said Edmund Ho.

For 2007, the government plans to present a budget proposal to the Legislative Assembly, with revenue of 30.892 billion patacas, an increase of 22.05 percent on 2005 revenue.

Most of the revenue is from direct taxation – almost 22 billion patacas – of which 20 billion patacas are from taxes on gaming and gambling.

In terms of investments, the government expects expenditure of 7.3 billion patacas, or 1 billion patacas higher than earmarked in the 2006 budget. (macauhub)