Macau (MNA) – In an interview with Macau News Agency (MNA), the Director of the Macau Economic Bureau (DSE), Tai Kin Ip, said that it was still early to assess the returns on the government investment in the Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park of Co-operation between Guangdong and Macao (GMTCM Park) in Hengqin.
The DSE Director is also one of the main administrators of Macau Investment and Development Co., Ltd, a public capital company created in 2011 and which main activity consists in the development and operation of the GMTCM Park.
Since its creation, the company’s share capital has increased by almost 1,500 per cent to MOP6.1 billion, with the increase attributed by the company to the development of the Park.
In a recent report published by the Legislative Assembly (AL) Follow-up Committee on Public Finances, legislators criticised the level of public funds invested in Macau Investment since its founding, noting that they don’t ‘know the motive or the efficiency of this capital investment’ and that ‘despite the large amount of investment no revenues had yet been generated by this company’.
According to Mr. Tai, the Park’s two main goals are the standardisation and internationalisation of TCM, with its main returns to not just be “counted in numerals,” but in terms of its contribution to the promotion of TCM abroad, especially in Portuguese-speaking countries, and to the diversification of the local economy.
However, with the TCM Park development still in its first phase, the DSE head noted that results would come gradually, as the project’s second and third phases are completed.
“That park’s size is 500,000 square meters, with a planned construction area of 900,000 square meters. Until now we managed to complete one-third of the park’s size and there’s still a far road to go. […] In the very near future you’ll see the results and the benefits arising from this project as we keep launching the second phase and third phase you will see,” he stated.
Nevertheless Mr. Tai considered that the project is already providing services, with Mainland China’s “top pharmaceutical enterprises” and Macau SMEs “gradually setting a foothold” in the Park.
“In the latest report about [the Park’s latest development], we can see more than 500 business matching sessions took place there and it already has 108 companies registered within it. Between those 108 companies registered you can see 26 are from the Macau side. These are some results we achieved during the last couple of years with government efforts to try and diversify the economy structure,” the DSE head said.
In the future, authorities were said to continue to seek China’s policy support, such as tax benefits, to enhance the attractiveness of the TCM Park; while focusing for now in attracting investment and helping Chinese companies take TCM products and technologies abroad through Macau, with Portuguese-speaking countries as entry points.
“We have already set up some medicine registration in Mozambique, and have a good introduction in their market. […] We need to let these countries understand [TCM’s benefits and] goodness. It’s a cultural approach. Brazil also has a society that is very accepting of herbal medicine,” he added.
With the purpose of advancing education of TCM, the DSE head also revealed that the development of a Chinese Medicine Technological Museum will be initiated next year in collaboration with an “international team” to implement 3D and VR technology in the museum.
“Chinese medicine has very deep knowledge, thousands of years of knowledge sedimentation. It’s a really good practice that can complement Western style medicine services,” Mr. Tai told MNA.