BEIJING, Dec. 21 -- Located in the southwest of Guangdong, one of the fastest growing economic regions in China, Macao is renowned for its advantageous geographical location, open economy, well-established infrastructure facilities, free port policy, straightforward taxation system and comparatively low business costs. Added to these are its competitive business environment and its access to a range of international market networks.
Macao has made use of its strengths and resources to establish itself as a high quality and efficient regional business service center, providing convenient and effective trade and industrial services to local and overseas enterprises and utilizing its links with the mainland, a number of Portuguese-speaking countries, EU markets and overseas Chinese entrepreneurs.
Since the establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) in 1999, the area has experienced substantial social and economic development. The Macao economy sustained double-digit growth from 1999 to 2008 and an average annual GPD growth of 14 percent between 2000 to 2008. Its per capita GDP also increased to over $39,000. According to the WTO Trade Policy Review of the region in 2007, Macao's economy has remained one of the most open in the world.
Following the completion and opening of various major tourism, gaming, resort, convention and exhibition facilities, as well as the completion of a number of infrastructure projects, Macao's tourism sector has experienced rapid growth. This has resulted in the accelerated development of its service industries, including convention and exhibition facilities, hotels, retail centers and food and beverage outlets, and has promoted a moderate economic diversification within Macao's economy.
The local government sees great potential within Macao's service industries. Among these emerging sectors, the convention and exhibition has achieved the most prominent growth over recent years.
With progressive investment and the deepening of the Mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), coupled with the further expansion of the Pan-PRD Regional Co-operation program, Macao-mainland trade and economic co-operation has broadened and provided the region's businesses with increased scope for future development.
Since the implementation of CEPA in 2004, liberalization measures have been introduced gradually, following the signing of a series of supplementary agreements. Currently, a total of 1,156 Macao-sourced products benefit from a preferential zero-tariff in the mainland market.
"The Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta", adopted by the National Development and Reform Commission in early 2009, strategically positions Macao as an international tourism and leisure centre, whilst aiming to enhance its economic ties with Guangdong and Hong Kong. The development of the Hengqin district of Zhuhai city has also provided a new opportunity for Macao's economic diversification and has further expanded co-operation and market development between Guangdong and Macao.
Macao is well established within the international community and has extensive global and regional links, with particularly close relations with the European Union and Portuguese-speaking countries. The Trade and Co-operation Agreement, signed in 1992 between Macao and the EU, laid the groundwork for co-operation in economic, technological, cultural, environmental protection and human resource fields. Subsequently, many European institutions have been established in Macao.
Through its ever-greater participation in regional co-operation, Macao has further strengthened its trade and economic relations with the mainland and several overseas territories. Trade associations and the relevant government departments from the mainland and Macao have worked together to jointly promote business co-operation between the two.
The "Macao International Trade and Investment Forum" (MIF), organized by the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), is an economic and trade exhibition designed to promote international co-operation and exchanges in investment and trade.
The Macao International Environmental Cooperation Forum and Exhibition (MIECF), hosted by the Macao SAR Government since 2008, is another major international event in the region and a portal for the sharing of green resources, technology exchange and co-operation between Macao, the Chinese mainland, the European Union and a number of Portuguese-speaking countries.
The 2010 MIECF is scheduled to run from the 8th to 10th of April and will continue to function as a high-level, pro-active platform for promoting Macao's initiatives in the Green Business arena through a series of events, notably Green Forums, a Green Showcase, Green Matching Facilitation, Green Business Co-operation Day and a Green Gala.
(Source: China Daily)