China: Chinese vice president calls for diversification of Macau’s economy

12 January 2009

Macau, China, 12 Jan – China’s vice president, Xi Jinping, said Saturday in Macau that the Chinese central government was in favour of the diversification of Macau’s economy and restated that the development of Hengqin Island in the neighbouring municipality of Zhuhai, would bring opportunities to the territory.

Xi Jinping, who visited Macau on 10 and 11 January, said he was “convinced that the development of Hengqin Island will provide new areas for development and diversification of the Macau economy,” according to the MacauNews agency.

Macau’s economy is mainly dependent on the gaming industry and the 31 casinos in the territory.

“After development of the island (which has an area three times the size of Macau and a small population) and taking into consideration the needs of Macau, measure will be launched to allow for cooperation with Macau,” the Chinese vice president said.

Xi also noted that Macau’s economic situation would improve with increased cooperation with Guangdong province, where the Special Administrative Region (SAR) is located.

The Chinese leader, who was on his first official visit to Macau since taking Office in March 2008, said that “the local economy has developed very rapidly over the last few years, and therefore has strong financial resources and experience to face difficulties.”

“The Macau government has also launched a series of measures to respond to the impact of the international financial crisis,” Xi noted adding that, “the government of Macau has the capacity, confidence and conditions to ensure the stable and healthy development of the territory’s economy.” «

Xi Jinping also noted that the Chinese central government had announced in December 2008, a number of measures to support Macau in facing the international economic crisis.(macauhub)