WORLD TRADE CENTER MACAU WILL
CONTINUE TO PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN
THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF MACAU
AFTER ITS REVERSION TO CHINA THIS DECEMBER
Mr Tam, born in Macau in May 1949, has recently resigned from the Board of Directors of the WTC Macau, following his official appointment as post-handover Secretary for Economy and Finance and member of the Chief Executive's future Executive Council.
Macau's future top economist says that a review of existing government policies will be one of his top priorities after assuming office on December 20. "We will see whether there is room for improvement in the policy decision-making process," Mr Tam says, adding he would like to improve administrative efficiency and cut down on bureaucracy after taking charge of his portfolio. "We will try to respond better to the needs of the public."
Mr Tam, who studied in London and Macau and holds various degrees and diplomas in business management and Chinese legal studies, emphasises that the implementation of new economic development strategies will require "careful consideration", based on a gradual approach towards possible improvements. He insists that Macau's present system as a free market economy and free port will remain intact beyond the handover, based on the principle of one country, two systems. "I'm a firm defender of the principle of free competition and equal and fair opportunities for all investors."
Mr Tam, who held a host of political and prominent business positions before Chief Executive-designate Edmund Ho Hau Wah asked him to join Macau's first post-handover government, says that one of his biggest challenges will be to attract more foreign investment to the Territory and develop a "workable strategy of improving Macau's economic situation".
The future Secretary for Economy and Finance admits that it is "hard to say" when Macau's gross domestic product will grow once again in real terms, stressing that it would "not be very wise" to make hasty predictions. Macau's gross domestic product has suffered real negative growth since 1996.
Mr Tam says he will steer a careful course when dealing with the issue of monopoly franchises granted by the government. "The present situation will not change immediately after the handover, we will first have to improve the general market situation and gradually allow in more competition". Macau's future economics supremo also promises that Macau's existing low taxation system will remain unchanged beyond the handover, adding he expects Macau's labour market to improve only after a general upswing in the local economy. "There are structural imbalances in the labour market", Mr Tam admits, stressing that vocational training of unemployed workers is the right approach towards reducing unemployment, which stood at around six per cent in the middle of the year.
Mr Tam also thinks that a gradual increase in suitably qualified residents may boost long-terms economic development.
World Trade Center Macau,S.A.R.L.
Av. da Amizade, No.918
World Trade Center Building, 16th Floor, MACAU
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