Macau, China, 9 Jul – The Macau government expects to spend about 600 million patacas (US$ 75 million) on the launch of a scientific and industrial park for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) on a 0.5-square-kilometers site located in Zhuhai’s Hengqin island, government spokesman Alexis Tam Chon Weng announced at Government House Thursday.
According to Tam, who is also the director of the newly set-up Preparatory Office for the TCM Scientific and Industrial Park, developing TCM into an international health product is the common goal of Macau and Guangdong as a way of diversify the local economy.
He stressed that both governments have drawn up a cooperation plan which is due to be approved by the central government in one to two months’ time.
The central government last year granted Macau temporary jurisdiction over an area in Hengqin covering 1.09 sq km to build a new campus for the public University of Macau (UM) there – 20 times larger than its current campus in Taipa, according with The Macau Post Daily.
Since the area of the proposed TCM park would be about half the size of the university campus, Tam said the investment in the TCM park would be similar to that of the campus, depending on their respective size, which is about 1.2 billion patacas ( US$150 million) for the roughly 1 sq km UM campus and half of that for the 0.5 sq km TCM park.
Under the TCM cooperation plan, Guangdong will be offering the necessary plot of land and TCM education and research, while Macau will be offering money and human resources to transform western Hengqin island into a centre for TCM research and services, Tam said adding that co-developing the TCM sector in conjunction with Guangdong would be a start for the two sides to jointly develop other industries such as tourism, culture and training.
"The idea was initiated by the Macau government because we have advantages such as a low tax rate to attract foreign investors," Tam said.
While the UM campus in Hengqin will take three years to complete, Tam said he expected the TCM park to take about a year and half to get off the ground, given that it is about half the size of the campus.