Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone focuses on high-end manufacturing, finance

The Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone planned for neighbouring Hengqin will focus on four sectors to facilitate the industrial diversifications of Macau from gaming, including technology and high-end manufacturing, traditional Chinese medicine, tourism and MICE, and finance.

This was advanced by the general plan of the Cooperation Zone, which basically covers the entire 106-square-kilometre Hengqin Island, published by the State Council on Sunday evening.

In a bid to facilitate the economic diversifications of Macau, the Cooperation Zone should have all the targets laid down in the general plan “basically achieved” by 2035 with results “initially achieved” by 2024 and “significantly achieved” by 2029.

The general plan said research and development of integrated circuits, electronic components, new energy, big data, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, biomedical engineering will be harboured in the Cooperation Zone, which aims to develop high-end manufacturing. The Cooperation Zone will become “an important stop” for the innovation and technology drive in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, it added.

For the sector of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the general plan said all the TCM products manufactured in the Cooperation Zone and approved by the Macau authorities could be regarded as “Made in Macau” products. The Zone will also support the processing of raw diamonds to be a “world-class trade centre of raw diamonds and gemstones”, the plan added.

As the central government has previously designated Hengqin to be developed as the International Leisure Tourism Island, the general plan this time also underscores the development of tourism and MICE — like sport tourism and healthcare tourism — as one of the major sectors for the Cooperation Zone. Multiple-entry visas between Macau and Zhuhai will be approved for foreign staff and professional visitors of the MICE events to be held concurrently in Macau and Hengqin to facilitate more cross-border MICE events, the general plan added.

For the development of the financial industry, the Cooperation Zone will become a financial service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and support Macau firms to set up businesses of wealth management, bonds and leasing in the Zone with “lower thresholds”.