MACAU CHIEF EXECUTIVE, EDMUND HO HAU WAH, VISITS INNER MONGOLIA AND GUANGDONG TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC TIES
The Chief Executive of the Macau Special Administrative Region, Edmund Ho Hau Wah, paid in August separate working visits to the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Guangdong Province to promote economic and commercial relations with the two areas.
During his visit to Inner Mongolia, the Chief Executive held meetings with top officials and business community leaders, including Mrs. Uyunqing, chairwoman of the People's Government of the Autonomous Region. Mr Ho also visited the Sino-Russian trans-border trade zone near the city of Manzhouli to learn from its experience. The zone, China's first international trade zone, includes bonded warehousing and duty-free export processing facilities.
Mr Ho described the visit to Inner Mongolia as "fruitful". He stressed that Inner Mongolian businessmen were welcome to benefit from Macau's close ties with the European Union and the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries.
With regard to his visit with the Governor of Guangdong Province, Lu Ruihua, in Guangzhou, the Chief Executive said the two sides had reached a "general consensus" on establishing a trans-border industrial zone between Macau and Zhuhai in the near future. Hong Kong businessmen are closely following the planned Macau-Zhuhai industrial zone that could serve as a model for a similar project straddling the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border.
The Chief Executive also said that Guangdong and Macau would increase co-operation in a wide range of areas, such as a joint tourism development project on Zhuhai's Hengqin Island. Mr Ho described relations between Macau and Guangdong as "fraternal".
GOVERNMENT EXPECTS FIVE
PER CENT GDP GROWTH THIS YEAR
The Macau economy is expected to have an annual growth of about five per cent in 2002", the Monetary Authority of Macau said in one of its weekly economic reports in August.
The report quoted Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah as saying that Macau's economy achieved a "remarkable growth of seven per cent in the first quarter, mainly driven by strong growth in tourism and the gaming sector."
The forecast would be Macau's highest annual GDP growth since 1993, when it officially grew by 5.2 per cent in real terms.
Macau's GDP rose in real terms 2.1 per cent last year and 4.6 per cent in 2000, after four years of negative growth between 1996 and 1999.
Macau's GDP totalled 49.8 billion patacas (US $ 6.2 billion) last year, when its per capita GDP stood at US $ 14,281. The World Bank has classified Macau, which is a founder member of the World Trade Organisation, as a high-income economy.
According to official estimates, tourism and the gaming industry generated some 40 per cent of the local GDP last year. The Government liberalised the casino sector earlier this year, when it granted three competing casino-operating concessions, two of which include investors from Las Vegas, Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson. Three new mega-casino resorts and a deluxe hotel complex are scheduled to be opened by 2006.
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