The European Union (EU) released Thursday the annual report on Macau highlighting the measures taken to the “economic diversification” in a economy largely depending on gaming,
The joint report (issued by the European Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) was released by the European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macau.
It described how economic diversification beyond the gaming sector remains a stated goal of the Macau Government.
“It took some measures to develop non-gaming economic activities, such as the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions), and creative and cultural industries. Only limited progress was made on diversification, however, due to infrastructure bottlenecks, the absence of ancillary business clusters and a shortage of human resources. Insufficient labor was a key constraint according to EU, “because the gaming sector and related sectors continued to outbid other sectors in attracting labor,” it stated.
Besides economics, other main topics mentioned in the report were political developments and cooperation between the EU and Macau.
The EU stated that actions to amend Annex II of the Basic Law [the so called electoral reform process] was a “modest but positive step towards strengthening the democratic basis of Macau’s governance.”
To take effect this fall, the amendment details the methods for electing the Chief Executive and forming the Legislative Assembly.
The report says that freedom of expression is generally respected and the print, as well as electronic media, gives voice to a broad range of views. However, according to the report, “there is nonetheless a growing sentiment that the media exercise self-censorship.”
In a positive note the EU report also said that Macau “no longer appears in Transparency International’s (TI) corruption perception index.”
The EU also expects an increase in activities related to cultural exchange, academic cooperation, environmental and legal cooperation and cooperation related to Macau’s goal of economic diversification.(macaunews)