Prime Minister Li Keqiang encourages economic diversification of Macau

13 October 2016

China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang, announced 19 measures to support the development of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR), including access by cars from Macau to Hengqin Island in Zhuhai municipality, and pleasure boat trips with individual visas.

The prime minister, who was speaking at a meeting with representatives of various sectors of society and before leaving the territory after a three-day visit, described his visit to Macau as the realisation of a long-standing desire and said that the territory had successfully applied the principle of “one country, two systems.”

At the meeting, chaired by Chief Executive Chui Sai On and attended by about 200 people, Li Keqiang reaffirmed that Macau is an important platform for cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries and recalled the 18 measures to support those countries, which he announced at the ministerial conference of the Forum and the implementation of which needs the support of Macau.

Prime Minister Li Keqiang also gave assurances of direct assistance to the Macau government in strengthening the platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries and greater participation by Macau in national strategies and major internal and external exchange events, as well as help with appropriate participation by Macau in the Silk Road Fund, the Fund for Industrial Cooperation between China and Latin America and the Industrial Cooperation Fund between China and Africa (FOCAC).

On the occasion, the Prime Minister announced 19 measures to support the development of the MSAR, including the annual Global Tourism Economy Forum, transforming Macau into a renminbi clearing centre for Portuguese-speaking countries, the establishment of export credit insurance, the establishment of the headquarters of the Cooperation Fund for Development between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries in Macau, transforming Macau into a “smart” city, the improvement of border crossing, support for construction of Macau’s “three centres” (food, small and medium enterprises and conventions), the construction of a traditional Chinese medicine centre and Scientific and Industrial Park for Traditional Chinese Medicine for Cooperation between Guangdong and Macau located in Hengqin.

Li also pledged the support of the central government to strengthen sea management to develop the maritime economy, the development of cooperation in the region of the Great Pearl River Delta and creation of incentives for entrepreneurs in this region to invest in Macau and vice versa.

The Prime Minister announced that by the end of this year cars with Macau registration will have access to Hengqin Island, over the Lotus Flower Bridge, on the island of Taipa, and before 30 June next year the rules relating to travel on recreational boats with individual visas will be announced and Zhongshan, Guangdong province, will be the first city to receive this travel permit to Macau and Macau to the Chinese city.

The Prime Minister recalled that the GDP of Macau has fallen sharply in recent years due to high dependence on a single industry (gaming) taking into account the fall in revenues from casinos and stressed the importance of diversifying the economy of the territory and not putting “all eggs in one basket.”

At the meeting Li praised the work of the Macau government, acknowledged the difficulties but said he was certain that Macau will continue to endure the “pain” of transformation and modernisation.

At the airport and before leaving Macau on Wednesday, China’s prime minister said he believed Macau, which historically has been China’s door to the outside, will develop even further and in the future play an important role in opening China up to the world.

During the visit to Macau Li Keqiang announced 18 measures to support the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries, whose 5th Ministerial Conference was held in Macau, and 19 measures to support the Macau Special Administrative Region. (macauhub)