How do you fix thy Macau economy? Let Chinese Premier Li Keqiang count the ways.
Li, who is in Macau to take part in the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum of Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, has announced on Monday that China’s central government has created at least 19 measure to ensure the city’s economic development.
As to what those measures are, Macau Business Daily reported that the Chinese Premier has yet to give the specifics.
The main thrust of the measures made by the Chinese central government, according to Li, was to ensure and speed up Macau’s diversification and reduce its reliance on gambling. Data shows that Macau’s gambling industry contributes about 80 percent of its tax revenue.
He said the central government will continue to support Macau in the implementation of the “One Center, One Platform” paradigm.
“The measures seek to support Macau’s economic and social development, as well as to stabilize Macau’s long term prosperity, and – as such – to benefit the Macau residents,” Premier Li said.
He pointed out that Macau has seen a stable political environment, economic prosperity, and a harmonious society since the former Portuguese enclave’s handover to China. The Chinese leader lauded Macau government for implementing both the policy of “One country, two systems” and “Macau people governing Macau.”
Li added that the city government has effectively responded to the challenges it faced by adhering to the Basic Law, focusing on its people, and making decisions scientifically.
Macau’s gambling industry took a nose dive in December 2014 after President Xi JIngping’s order for the city to diversify its economy from gambling and launched a crackdown against corrupt government officials.
Despite seeing a slight recovery in its gaming revenue for the second month, Macau is trying to transform itself into a world-class, cultural tourist destination.
In May, the Macau Government Tourism Office launched a consultation paper entitled “Macau Tourism Industry Development Master Plan,” which aims to increase tourist visitation, expand waterfront area, increase the number of budget hotels, and push non-gaming revenue to MOP112 million (US$14 billion) by 2015.