Macau: Chief exec warns of difficult times ahead

15 August 2008

Macau, China, 15 Aug – Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho called Thursday for local companies to refrain from firing staff and hiking prices, despite rising inflation and the fragile international business climate.

Speaking in the annual questions and answers session in Macau’s Legislative Assembly, Ho said inflation would persist for some time, announcing the government will introduce practical measures to support the less advantaged.

“Macau’s economy is all imported and therefore we are limited over adopting measures to combat global inflation,” said Ho, pledging his administration will maintain its public investments program.

Some lawmakers expressed concern at the evolution of Macau’s gaming industry – the economic foundation of the Chinese enclave city. Ho said the sector could feel the pinch from a moderate downturn “over some months or even during the whole of 2009, as until now it has grown at a very high rate.”

But even if Macau’s casinos experience a fall in growth during 2009, they will still obtain a significant amount of revenues, Ho told lawmakers.

Macau’s youth needs more training so they “don’t have problems finding job,” Ho told the Legislative Assembly. He also said Macau will donate the equivalent of US$ 687.5 million to help in the reconstruction of the earthquake-devastated Chinese province of Sichuan. (macauhub)