Macao releases 1st development plan for appropriate economic diversification

China’s Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government on Wednesday released a development plan for Macao’s appropriate economic diversification from 2024 to 2028, the first systematic industrial development plan issued in Macao.

The document outlines specific planning and arrangements for developing Macao’s industries of tourism and leisure, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and big health, modern finance, new and high technologies, conventions and exhibitions, and culture and sports, based on the second five-year plan of the Macao SAR and the city’s appropriate economic diversification strategy.

Responding to China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the new development plan aims to set the specific targets, major tasks and key projects for Macao’s appropriate economic diversification from 2024 to 2028, promote the development of new industries, cultivate new economic growth points, consolidate and upgrade traditional industries of strength, and push for the sustainable and quality development of Macao’s economy, according to the Macao SAR government.

The plan shows Macao will speed up building itself into a comprehensive destination for tourism and leisure that combines the elements of gourmet food, vacationing, sightseeing, shopping, entertainment, culture, medical treatment and sports.

The major tasks for this purpose include developing and optimizing tourism products, expanding tourist sources, deepening cooperation within the Greater Bay Area and with the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, neighboring Zhuhai city, and promoting the healthy development of the gaming industry in accordance with the law, noted the plan.

The plan also proposed to speed up developing Macao’s TCM and big health industry, basically establish TCM development encompassing industries, universities and research institutes, and gradually build the city into a national and regional medical center.

Macao will promote research and development of TCM and commercialization of research findings as well as modernization and internationalization of the TCM industry, step up regional cooperation, speed up academic building and talent nurturing, and improve the regulatory system.

Efforts will be made to promote the development of modern finance in Macao, enrich financial formats, improve financial infrastructure construction, and further increase the proportion of finance in Macao’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employment structure.

Setting a target of over 10 percent for the proportion of finance in local GDP, the plan stressed needs to leverage Macao’s advantages in “one country, two systems,” and in linking China with the international community, particularly Portuguese-speaking countries, to secure complementary development with neighboring regions.

The plan also pledges substantive progress in the development of new and high-tech industries in Macao by 2028, and better integration into the country’s scientific and technological development strategy, to play a more important role in building the scientific and technological innovation corridor of the Greater Bay Area.

Macao will build a friendly environment for scientific and technological startups, step up services and support to the industries, and promote cooperation between industries and universities and the commercialization of research fruits.

Macao will also make efforts to cultivate a group of convention and exhibition brands with international influences, further deepen cooperation between the convention and exhibition industries in Macao and other countries and regions, and steadily increase the proportion of e-commerce sales in total transaction volumes.

The plan stressed needs to improve Macao’s cultural image by creating more quality artistic and cultural works and hosting or participating in more cultural exchange activities, as well as needs to promote sports tourism and related industries.

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