Macau has attractive conditions for foreign investors, particularly for setting up companies and for the transit of goods, according to a market study by the Portuguese agency for the promotion of foreign trade, AICEP Portugal Global.
“Macau is characterised by a free-port policy and a free-market economic system, with an attractive business environment for investment and business start-ups that benefit from a simplified and agile regime with respect to the formalities to be followed by the promoters,” said the AICEP market sheet, published at the end of July.
The agency also noted the possibility of obtaining incentives, of a fiscal and financial nature, through the subsidised interest scheme for business financing.
Tax exemptions will be granted through a well-founded request from the people concerned, to the investment projects “which meet at least one of the following criteria: promote economic diversification; Growth in exports to new markets; Increase the added value of products and contribute to technological modernisation.”
The market study also refers to the support structures run by the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) – the Macau Business Support Centre, which offers various logistics facilities and the “One Stop Service,” which offers a complete set of services to facilitate investment processes.
In relation to the General Import Regime, the study notes that “goods may be imported freely, provided they are accompanied by the documentation required for the category of products concerned,” and after proper inspection by the competent authorities.
Despite the existing facilities, statistics indicate that, in the context of Portuguese international trade in goods and services, Macau accounts for less than 0.1% of total exports and imports, albeit with a growing trend.
The value of Portuguese exports to Macau was 32.8 million euros in 2012 and increased to 56.6 million euros in 2016, registering an average annual growth in that period of 15.7%.
The structure of Portugal’s exports to Macau was concentrated on mineral fuels (31.2% of the total in 2016), followed by food products (26.0%), machinery and equipment (17.2%), agricultural products (11.2%) and chemicals (10.2%) – these first five product groups together accounted for about 96% of sales of goods.
Regarding the direct investment flows of Portugal in Macau, the data cited in the study show inconsistency: from 238.2 million euros in 2012 to a negative value in 2013 (-300.2 million euros), increasing in 2014 and 2015 (9.3 million and 52.7 million euros, respectively) and again presented a negative amount in 2016 (-20.8 million euros).