City’s autonomy on new coastal waters helps maritime trade shows

The announcement of the city being given authority to administer 85 square kilometres of coastal waters will translate into less complicated administrative procedures and reduced cost for organising yacht shows and other trade fairs for the maritime industry, remarked the director of the Macao Convention and Exhibition Association, Alan Ho Hoi Meng.
“The biggest problem that we have encountered in the past whenever organising yacht shows here is that we have to have the Marine and Water Bureau help us to co-ordinate with its counterpart in Zhuhai to dredge up silt and build piers,” Mr. Ho told media on the sidelines of his Association’s event yesterday.
“Now we don’t need to go through this [co-ordination] process any more,” he added. “Macau has more autonomy as it can have its own coastal waters, and that facilitates us in organising maritime events like the yacht shows, at reduced cost.”
On Wednesday, the Macau Government announced that the city is to be given powers to administer 85 square kilometres of coastal waters surrounding the territory; at the same time, it will be given the administrative rights over the land plot where the Border Gate checkpoint is located.
The State Council of China is expected to issue a decree stating the administrative division map for the city on December 20, the date of the MSAR handover anniversary. Prior to the demarcation of Macau’s coastal waters, there was no provision for the local government to manage the city’s surrounding sea lanes.
Despite the autonomy given to the city to administer its own coastal waters, any future plans for land reclamation will still have to be reported to Beijing and such plans cannot involve any gaming purposes, according to a statement issued by Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On.
The demarcation of Macau’s coastal waters can help the territory to develop its maritime economy, in particular with the addition of non-gaming attractions such as water tours, Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac remarked on the sidelines of a Legislative Assembly meeting yesterday.
Speaking to media, the Secretary pledged that the government will further study the city’s maritime industry and how it can be developed more.