Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng when asked today by a reporter in a press conference whether the adjacent island of Hengqin could become “the second Macau”, said that’s what he would like to see and hoping for.
“That’s what we want and hope,” he said.
While acknowledging that Macau’s Portuguese-style legal system could not be implemented on the island, which belongs to the mainland city of Zhuhai, Macau could nevertheless take joint development initiatives there.
He said Hengqin could offer Macau new possibilities of diversifying its economy, which is heavily dependent on the gaming industry.
While Macau’s land area amounts to just 32.9 square kilometres, Hengqin covers 106 square kilometres. It lies just a few hundred metres west of Macau’s Cotai gaming and tourism precinct.
Macau has leased a one-square-kilometre plot of land on the island for the University of Macau (UM) campus.