European Commission warns of challenges Macau faces to maintain economic growth

16 August 2007

Macau, China, 15 Aug – The European Commission (EC) has said it considers that the economy and government of Macau will face ever greater challenges over the next few years to ensure the sustainable development of the territory and deal with the consequences of economic growth.

The EC, in its annual report on Macau, the seventh since the creation of the Administrative Region of Macau in 1999, points out the need for Macau to diversify its economy and pay attention to its infrastructure needs and lack of human resources.

The report also said that in 2006 relations between the EU and Macau had been boosted and analyzed the territory’s political situation focusing on the launch of Macau’s democracy development plan.

The EC noted that Macau continued to have an important role as a platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries through mechanisms managed in cooperation with the People’s Republic of China.

The six-page document covers Macau’s economic developments highlighting the 16.9 percent growth of the economy in 2006 and issues relating to trade and cooperation between the EU and Macau.

The Commission also said it was ready to cooperate with Macau to support and encourage the implementation of measures to protect the environment and also said it was open to exploring the scope of trilateral cooperation with mainland China.

The report also pointed out that the traditionally well-established presence of EU companies in Macau was fading and warned of the need to ensure equal opportunities for all of those aiming to do business in Macau.

In conclusion, the EC said that cooperation with Macau could be boosted further over the next few years in the areas of trade, customs, finance, transport, education, health, the environment and food safety.(macauhub)