AND ZHUHAI LAUNCH INNOVATIVE CROSS-
Macau and Guangdong have launched the construction of a 40-hectare cross-border park, the first of its kind between one of China's two special administrative regions and one of its five special economic zones, which is expected to start operating by the end of 2004.
The innovative project, which straddles the Macau-Zhuhai border, consists of an 11-hectare section in the Macau Special Administrative Region and a 29-hectare section in the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone. Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the park in Macau on December 9, 2003, Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah said, There will be continuous and permanent co-operation between Macau and Guangdong, something that is indispensable for Maca's future development."
Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua stressed at the ceremony that Macau was playing an increasingly important role as a business-service platform for its hinterland in western Guangdong, namely in the area of tourism and logistics, adding that Macau and Guangdong would continue to closely co-operate in the planning of public transport infrastructures in the Pearl River Delta, such as the construction of expressways, high-speed railways and a projected mega-bridge spanning the western and eastern shores of the delta.
The park will create new jobs for Macau residents, consolidate Macau's manufacturing infrastructure and attract external investment, namely from Taiwan and foreign countries. The project will greatly benefit from the closer economic partnership arrangement (CEPA) between the Mainland and Macau, which became effective on January 1, 2004. The park has already generated considerable interest among potential investors from different regions and countries.
MACAU'S ECONOMY GROWS BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS
Macau's economy has expanded by leaps and bounds since the establishment of the Special Administrative Region (MSAR) in December 1999.
Under the leadership of MSAR Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah and his five-member cabinet, namely Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen, the former Portuguese enclave's gross domestic product (GDP) has shown particularly strong growth in the past two years. While the GDP grew year-on-year 10 per cent in 2002, it recorded a very impressive growth of 15.6 per cent in real terms in 2003, in spite of the negative impact of the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in its neighbouring regions in the first half of that year.
Macau's per capita GDP reached US $ 17,782 last year, as against a US $ 14,351 in 1999. In fact, Macau's annual two-digit GDP growth in the past two years was among the world's highest economic expansion rates.
The economy as a whole, namely tourism and gaming businesses, external merchandise trade, foreign reserves and public finances, has shown sound growth in the past four years. Macau's net foreign assets, including those held by the Monetary Authority of Macau, grew from 59.1 billion patacas in 1999 to 114.7 billion patacas in 2003, an increase of 94 per cent. The Macau Government's current budget receipts rose 44.3 per cent, from 9.7 billion patacas in 2001 to 14 billion patacas in 2003. Imports increased 35.5 per cent, from 16.3 billion patacas in 1999 to 22 billion patacas last year. The value of total exports, comprising domestic and re-exports, grew 17.7 per cent, from 17.5 billion patacas in 1999 to 20.7 billion patacas last year.
Macau's number of visitor arrivals increased 59.6 per cent, from 7.44 million in 1999 to 11.88 million last year.
Macau, which has 448,000 residents, is nowadays one of the world's prime examples of a prudently managed economy, based on the principles of sound public finances, sustainable development, free enterprise, and close interaction between the public and private sectors to the benefit of civil society as a whole. External investors, traders and service providers are welcome with open arms to do business in Macau, which the World Trade Organisation has classified as one of the world's most liberal economies.
The MSAR Government has laucnched a series its establishment four years ago to further develop the region as an international investment, trade, tourism, service and logistics platform, such as its liberalisation of the gaming the construction of a tran-border of a closer economic partnership arrangement (CEPA) with Mainland. The Government has also strongly ministerial-level forum between China in Macau every three years, and it has a venue for international meetings by overseas Chinese businesspeople and as a business gateway to its booming hinterland in western Guangdong Province.
World Trade Center Macau,S.A.R.L.
Av. da Amizade, No.918
World Trade Center Building, 16th Floor, MACAU
Tel : (853) 727666 Fax : (853) 727633
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org