Economic Services Bureau (DSE) Director Tai Kin Ip said on Sunday that last month’s Hato disaster has made Macau’s civil society “fully” realise the “complexity of the reality”, adding that the government would think “deeply” about how to diversify the local economy in order to consolidate the city’s industrial structure.
Tai also said that economic diversification would enhance Macau’s competitiveness and its resilience to uncertainties.
Tai made the remarks in a speech during “Macau’s Economy Forum 2017” on the campus of the University of Macau (UM). About 20 scholars from Macau and the mainland delivered speeches during the one-day forum, which was organised by the Macau Economics Association.
Tai said that after the local economy had experienced “an adjustment for a while”, tourists’ expenditure and local consumption have been increasing since August last year, adding that the economic atmosphere has been improving. He noted that Typhoon Hato has, however, caused “serious damage” to Macau’s economy, particularly shops in the areas affected by the typhoon-induced floods in the city. The typhoon, which killed 10 people, hammered Macau on August 23.
Tai said that in the short term the government has provided support for the Hato-affected small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them get back to normal – namely a 50,000-pataca subsidy and an interest-free loan of up to 600,000 patacas for businesses hit by last month’s disaster.
According to the Macau Post Daily, Tai said that in addition to the short-term measures, the government “has not forgotten” the measures needed to boost Macau’s economy in the longer term. He said that the local government would participate in the nation’s 13th Five-Year Plan, Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA).
Tai said the government would place special emphasis on developing a number of “new” sectors. He said the government would promote the development of the convention and exhibition industry, with priority to be given to conferences.
Tai also said that the government would support the development of the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) sector by making use of the Guangdong-Macau Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park on Hengqin Island.
Tai also said the government would promote the development of financial businesses with “special features”, namely by putting special emphasis on finance leasing, wealth management businesses and yuan clearing businesses.