Macau | MICE, Sino-Luso cooperation, Chinese medicine, diamond trade, and youth entrepreneurship main focus of Gov't economic diversification efforts - Economic Bureau Director

The Director of the Macau Economic Bureau told MNA that the department's main efforts in 2019 for the diversification of the Macau economy will be aimed at the Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) sector, the development of Macau as a service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, youth entrepreneurship, and regulating the diamond trade

Macau (MNA) – The main efforts by local authorities in 2019 for the diversification of the Macau economy will be aimed at the Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) sector, the development of Macau service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries (PSCs), youth entrepreneurship, and regulating the diamond trade, the Director of the Macau Economic Bureau (DSE), Tai Kin Ip, said in an interview with Macau News Agency (MNA).

“We will continue to promote the quality development of the “convention-oriented” MICE industry. The development quality of Macau’s MICE industry has been steadily improving in recent years and won the recognition of international institutions […].”

The DSE Director indicated that some 25 conventions with 1,000 attendees or above have been introduced in the first 10 months of this year, representing almost a 50% year-on-year increase, “an encouraging result,” with the added value of the MICE industry being MOP3.54 billion in 2017, a 147% increase when compared with 2015. 

“We’ll strive to bring in more high-quality events to Macao in the future and continuously enhance the level of the industry’s professionalism, internationalisation, and marketization. At the same time, following the recent opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the convenient and swift movement of people within the region will be significantly enhanced, providing beneficial conditions for the further development of Macao’s MICE industry,” he stated.

Finance sector efforts

With regards to finance, the DSE Director stated that two sets of laws related to financial leasing are currently under review by the Legislative Assembly, with authorities considering extending the scope of application of the Interest Subsidized Scheme on Bank Loans to Enterprises scheme to financial leasing projects.

“Meanwhile, the development of wealth management will be promoted by supporting the development and introduction of more RMB denominated financial products and the issuing of bonds of different types and currencies, and by considering introducing trust law and legislation regulating the issuance of bonds,” he told MNA.

In respect of the development of Macau as a Sino-Luso RMB clearing center, Tai Kin Ip said that the asset transaction platform jointly developed by the relevant authorities and two major Mainland banks is already operating in Macau, with more Mainland central state-owned enterprises and private enterprises being solicited to launch PSCs capital clearing business through Macau.

Our Portuguese-speaking friends

Under this platform role umbrella, the DSE head added that developing exchanges and cooperation between youths of China and Lusophone countries would be one of the department’s main goals for 2019, with the China-PSCs Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Exchange Programme to continue assisting Macau youngsters to visit Portugal with access to co-working spaces and supporting services there.

Meanwhile, the China-PSCs Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Exchange Centre, will continue to invite youth startup projects from PSCs with potential, especially those that are technological, to conduct roadshows and exchanges, in which the participation of suitable angel funds, seed funds, and youth entrepreneurship centres from the Mainland will be arranged.

Parafuturo de Macau Investment and Development Limited, a local public capital company created to manage the local startup incubator Macau Young Entrepreneur Incubation Centre (CINJ), is also to continue its works in promoting young entrepreneurship and connect them with PSCs.

“We developed the China-PSCs Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Exchange Programme to help [local young entrepreneurs] to go to Portugal first, to Lisbon, setting up 10 co-working spaces at the co-working space Second Home, which is very well-known and has a London branch. We also partnered with Portuguese startup incubator and accelerator Fabrica de Startups, which provides localisation services for our youth to go to Europe through Portugal […]. So far, the programme helped 26 young Macau entrepreneurs go to Portugal,” he added.

The continuous development of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park of Co-operation between Guangdong and Macao (GMTCM Park) in Hengqin was also mentioned as one of the pushes for local economic diversification with the help of PSCs.

Looking closer to home

Meanwhile, this entrepreneurship and innovation would also be developed with more cooperation closer to home, in the Greater Bay Area, such as the “Services on the Doorstep” scheme to create conditions for local SMEs to make use of cross-border e-commerce, and ease business registration in the Greater Bay Area.

“We will continue assisting youth startup enterprises in Macau in setting footholds at incubation bases in the Bay Area to strengthen their connections with local startup enterprises; cooperation with Jiangmen, Huizhou, Dongguan, Fushan, and Zhaoqing on exchanging work spaces and arranging suitable projects to launch roadshows will be developed following that with Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and Zhongshan,” the DSE Director told MNA.

The DSE would also establish a professional service exchange mechanism with youth entrepreneurship incubation centres in the Greater Bay Area that have already signed cooperation agreements with Macau centres, to provide two-way professional consultation services, including legal, accounting, and taxation matters, to young startups in the two regions.

Local businesses evaluated as “Macao Classic Brands” will also be invited to participate in the brand rebuilding support programme in 2019, with consultation services such as brand environment research, brand positioning, brand design, and brand promotion strategies provided through professional brand consultants in order to enable them to develop their brands and enhance market competitiveness.

Attracting diamonds

Tai Kin Ip also mentioned that his department will look to put forward the legislative work related to the legal framework and regime of the Kimberley Process in Macau, to regulate those engaging in economic activities related to rough diamonds and the import, export, and transhipment procedures of rough diamonds, and establishing the related penalty system.

“The SAR Government launched the preparatory work in 2017 and has carried out the related local legislative work […]. To enable smooth implementation of the regime, the SAR Government is also continuously negotiating and exchanging with the counterparts of the Mainland on multiple areas, such as software and hardware support, practical operation, supervisory measures, and professional training, and has commenced the legislative work of the enforcement law of the Kimberley Process International Certification System,” he stated.