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Macau Wins "Best Economic Potential" Award

   Macau was voted a "City with Best Economic Potential" last February in a first-time competition organised by fDI - Foreign Direct Investment magazine for the "2005/2006 Asian Cities & Regions of the Future".

The fDI magazine of the Financial Times group focuses on reporting and analysing worldwide activities and movements of direct investments. The aim of the competition was to examine the future development of Asian cities and regions.

The judge panel of the competition was made up of four experts in trade, law, investment and consulting from Singapore, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. The panel examined more than 40 applications from individual Asian cities and regions in their economic database and foreign investment environment. Macau and Seoul were both graded the "City with Best Economic Potential" in Asian cities.

According to the World Trade Organisation, Macau is one of the most open regimes in trading and investment operation in the world. Macau's GDP was US$10.5 billion in 2004, with an astounding growth rate of 28 percent.

 

Double Taxation, Investment Protection Accords to Strengthen Macau's 'Service Hub' Role between China and Portuguese-Speaking World

   The Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) government will sign double taxation and investment protection agreements with all Portuguese-speaking countries to strengthen and transform the special administrative region's role as a major "service hub" between China and the Portuguese-speaking world. Macau's top economic affairs official, Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen said that Macau government was determined to create the right conditions for Macau to transform itself gradually into a major service hub in the Pearl River Delta and stressed that the MSAR government would do "everything possible" to assist the central government in Beijing to promote its trade and economic ties with Portuguese-speaking countries. The government principal policy objectives were to consolidate Macau's position as business service platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking world. The second ministerial meeting of Forum Macau, which is intended to strengthen economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking nations would take place in Macau in next September. All Portuguese-speaking countries except São Tomé and Principe are constituent members of the Forum, which maintains a permanent secretariat in Macau.

Mr Tam further pointed out that China was offering economic assistance to five of the world's eight Portuguese-speaking countries, including close economic cooperation, the granting of preferential loans and organisation of a string of professional training courses. Official figures show that bilateral trade between China and Portuguese-speaking countries in 2005 totaled over 19.53 billion euros, a 26.9 percent increase over 2004. At the end of 2005, direct investment from China in Portuguese-speaking countries was US$100 million, with investment of Portugal and Brazil in China totaling US$229 million, according to Chinese Trade Ministry figures.

 

MACAU ACHIEVED A SUSTAINABLE AND SOLID ECONOMIC GROWTH IN 2005

    after six years of rapid expansion since its establishment in December 1999, the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) achieved a sustainable and solid economic growth in 2005.

Macau's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 6.7 percent against 2004's and resumed at a normal pace in 2005, with a grand total of US$12.1 billion and the per capita GDP stood at US$25,391.

There were a number of factors contributed to this economic growth of Macau last year, particularly the liberalisation of the gaming industry starting in 2002 spurred a "significant growth" in private and public investments and favorable developments in the tourism industry.

During 2005, the government collected US$2.16 billion in direct taxation from the betting and gaming sector, an annual increase of 12.9 per cent. Gross revenues from the gaming industry in Macau totaled US$5.97 billion in 2005, an annual increase of 8.25 percent.

The inscription of "The Historic Centre of Macau" on UNESCO's prestigious World Heritage List and the easing of travel restrictions by the central government being extended to additional cities and provinces of China have induced more visitors to Macau. The total arrivals of visitors increased by 12 percent over 2004's, to a record high of 18,711,187 in 2005.

Reflecting the rapid upturn of the economy, a robust surge was also witnessed in the local confidence, translating into higher private consumption. At the same time, the pressure over unemployment rate has been further reduced from 4.6% in 2004 to 4.1% in 2005, due to a continuous increase in demands for workforce.

In 2005, Macau exported goods of a total value of US$2.48 billion, an annual decrease of 12.1 percent; and imported products with a total value of US$3.9 billion, a year on year increase of 12.3 per cent.

The Macau government also announces that several projects are in progress, such as building a new road linking the Macau peninsula and Taipa island, reclaiming more land for future development, constructing a light subway transportation system, expanding the existing airport and also the launch of the Macau-Zhuhai cross-border industrial area.


     

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