Macau government says WTO recognizes territory’s economic success over last six years

10 May 2007

Macau, China, 10 May – the World Trade Organization (WTO) has recognized the economic success achieved by Macau over the last six years and said it is optimistic about the future development of Macau, a statement from the Macau economic services showed.

Macau was under Portuguese administration until December 19, 1999 when the Lisbon government handed it back to China, which created the Special Administrative Region of Macau, which is largely autonomous in relation to the Beijing central government.

The statement said that the WTO “considers that Macau continues to be a free economic system which remains open in its commercial and investment policies. At the same time, due to the implementation of efficient economic policies, the liberalization of the gaming sector and the favorable external economic climate, Macau’s economy has recorded rapid economic growth from 2001 to 2006.”

The WTO statement was issued two weeks after the beginning of a commercial and economic performance review of Macau.

The WTO periodically assesses the commercial policies of its 150 members with the aim of ensuring that its members maintain a multilateral trade system and promote liberalization.

The World Trade Organization also considered that, by examining trade policies, the members of the WTO can have better knowledge of Macau’s trade policies and development prospects, thus supporting the government in preparing itself better to face future challenges.

A delegation from Macau, headed by the Secretary for the Economy and Finance, Tam Pak Yuen, was in Geneva, Switzerland, at the beginning of May to take part in meetings with the WTO.

At the meetings with the WTO, Tam Pak Yuen, reaffirmed that the Macau government kept the territory as a free trade area, thus supporting the multilateral trade system and the Doha negotiations set up by the WTO. (macauhub)