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Macao puts priority on diversified economy

By Atlas Shao in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-15 10:04


Macao Chief Executive Ho Iatseng announced on Tuesday that the special administrative region will further boost its economic recovery and diversification in fiscal year 2024, which marks the start of the SAR's first long-term economic diversification plan.

The SAR will also keep enhancing public welfare, including the continuation of cash handouts for the 17th consecutive year.

Every Macao permanent resident will receive MOP$10,000($1,245) from the government next year, and non-permanent residents will receive MOP$6,000.These payouts are made possible because of the government's tax windfall from the SAR's gaming profits.

The government will also inject an additional MOP$7,000 into each resident's non-mandatory central provident fund accounts.

Ho said that overall, the Macao SAR has shown a positive trend of rapid economic recovery, social stability and steady progress in various sectors after the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the recovery and development have been uneven, and some industries, enterprises and residents have yet to fully overcome the challenges and difficulties caused by COVID-19 over the past three years, he said.

Next year marks the beginning of the implementation of Macao's first development plan for economic diversification, which is set to run until 2028.

Under the plan, the SAR will push forward the development of the tourism and leisure sector, which is the pillar industry of the city, while continuously promoting several core industries — health and wellness, modern finance, high-tech, exhibitions and commerce, culture and sports.

To fully implement the plan, Ho said the city will increase the proportion of the key industries in the overall economy, and promote their high-quality development.

In addition, the government will carry out the revitalization of old districts, and use it to drive economic development in the community.

It's also important to support gaming companies to develop non-gaming businesses, introduce more international events, and continuously enrich local thematic amusement products, Ho said.

More efforts will be paid on attracting overseas tourists, the chief executive said.

The city will strive to open up more international direct flight routes, utilize the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to enhance the convenience of visitors to Macao, and collaborate with nearby mainland cities to offer more attractive tourism products for tourists from Northeast and Southeast Asia.

On the livelihood front, the government will speed up the supply of public housing, and further ensure priority employment for local residents. It will also increase the resources invested in hospital facilities and medical staff, and increase support services for vulnerable groups.

The government will strictly implement the newly amended Law on Safeguarding National Security, especially its provisions on oath-taking, said Ho.

To firmly uphold the principle of "patriots administering Macao", the SAR will complete the amending of the election law for the chief executive and the Legislative Assembly, as well as revisions on ordinances about oath of office.

Meanwhile, the government will promote the publicity and education of young people and primary and secondary school students through diversified methods, and enhance the public understanding of the nation's Constitution, the SAR's Basic Law and the Law on Safeguarding National Security.

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