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MACAU SAR AS A BUSINESS PLATORM BETWEEN CHINA AND PORTUGUESE - SPEAKING COUNTRIES

   Ministers of Commerce from Portuguese-speaking countries attended a seminar on the “Macau as economic and trade platforms between China and Portuguese - speaking Countries” in Macau which was organised by the Permanent Secretariat to the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese - speaking country in early September 2008.

The Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao) was established in Macau in 2003. It was hosted by the Central Government of China and organized by the Macao Special Administrative Region Government.

As a platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, the main goal of the Forum of Macao is to strengthen and increase economical and trade ties among the participating countries.

The trade volume between China and Portuguese-speaking countries reached 43.9 billion US dollars in the first seven months of 2008 and recorded an increase of 89 % over the same period last year. It is estimated that the total trade volume will exceed 50 billion US dollars by the end of 2008.

 

MACAU TOURISM FOCUSES ON HERITAGE STATUS AND DIVERSIFICATION TO ATTRACT MORE VISITORS

   The Historical Centre of Macau, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will continue to be one of the most important aspects to attract tourists to the territory, according to Macau’s marketing strategy for 2008.

João Costa Antunes, Macau’s director for tourism said at a meeting with Macau’s 16 tourism offices around the world, that “Macau’s marketing strategy will continue to focus on heritage and promotional diversification.”

According to the official statistics in the first five months of the year, Macau received 12.6 million visitors, a rise of 17.4 percent against the same period of 2007.

Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan continue to be the top three visitor markets for Macau. Visitors from mainland China (7.4 million) saw a rise of 25.5 percent between January and May of this year against the same period of 2007.

Asian markets had a rise of 60 percent overall, including an increase of 81.8 percent in tourists from Thailand, Singapore (68.9 percent), South Korea (58.9 percent), the Philippines (53.3 percent) and Japan (30 percent).

 

CHINA: MACAU COULD BE BUSINESS PLATFORM FOR CENTRAL REGION OF CHINA

   The Chief Executive of Macau, Edmund Ho Hau-Wah, said in Wuhan on 28 April 2008 that Macau could be a business platform between the central region of China
and the countries of the European Union and those with Portuguese as an official language, in order to support the sustainable development of the Chinese region.

Ho, who took part in the “Thousand of Investors into Western China” summit, said that “in order to be in line with the development of quality tourism, Macau will not only have to boost its infrastructure, widen its network of relations and carry out promotional campaigns, but also give importance to the introduction and expansion of the cultural component.”

The chief executive noted that Macau, for this reason, was strengthening its legislation on the protection of Cultural Heritage, thus driving the progress of the cultural industry.

Ho also said that Macau’s infrastructures were beginning to have an international impact particulalry in terms of hosting conventions and expositions.

“Macau will be focus on boosting complementary cooperation with neighboring regions enabling its convention and exhibition industry as a whole to become a regional
commercial platform,” said Ho.

He also noted that Macau had been able to make use of its advantages over the last few years, particularly driving the appropriate diversification of the economy based on trade and tourism.

 

MACAU AND MAINLAND SIGN CEPA SUPPLEMENT V TO FURTHER ECONOMIC COOPERATION

   Macau and mainland signed the fifth supplement to the agreement for boosting economic and commercial relations, the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) on 30 July 2008.

The new supplement to the agreement further extends the areas of trade in services and investment facilitation by including services related to mining and scientific and technical consulting, which will come into force in January 2009.

The addendum to the agreement was signed by the Macau Secretary for the Economy and Finance, Francis Tam and China’s Deputy Trade Minister, Jiang Zenwei, who noted that there are new measures to be established that will contribute to greater cooperation between the two parties.

The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between mainland China and Macau has been in place since January 2004 and aims to contribute to boosting economic and commercial relations between China and Macau.

CEPA is applied to three areas: sale of goods, services and cooperation for investment. In the case of goods, the agreement allows the sale of products from Macau to mainland China without paying taxes. Thus, a foreign investor who wants to set up in Macau can have access to the Chinese markets without export tariffs being applied. The agreement also includes customs tariff exemptions on products exported to the Chinese mainland which are at least 30 percent produced in Macau, as well as the possibility of local businesspeople being allowed to set themselves up in mainland China in specific service sectors.


     

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