Last week, the Statistics and Census Service of Government of Macao SAR announced that the GDP of Macau in 2020 Q2 reduced by 67.8% year-on-year.1 Though Macau has exercised effective precaution to stop COVID-19 spread, the extreme measures also halted casinos running which highly rely on Chinese tourists. As we know, the gambling industry is almost everything for Macau economy. All of employment, production and infrastructure relate to casinos and tourism services. During COVID-19 pandemic, Macau visitors dropped by 99% and gambling service export dropped by 97%. Even the public expenditure increased by 17% at the same time, and Macau GDP made a record-breaking purge.
Macau needs global recovery
Life is larger than everything, and the immediate preventive action of Macau outperformed Hong Kong. However, the economy totally relies on gambling while the industry frozen without Chinese tourists. China has no local infection now (by its official figures) but the restriction is still very harsh to prevent COVID-19 return. The Asian gambling city has a long way to go until the global recovery.
Economic diversification – breakthrough with BUD Fund
The Macau Government also understands that mono-product economy brings risk and proactively undertakes diversification recently. There was rumour that Chinese chairman Xi Jinping would announce the plan to develop Macau as an international financial centre in 20th anniversary of Macau SAR last year.2 Nevertheless, investing in other sectors with gambling profit and the Greater Bay Area plan are all policies telling us that Macau needs more foreign investment on other economic sectors. Hong Kong businessmen are very flexible, and we have the same language and culture. In addition, the HZM Bridge opening in 2018 also facilitates investment in Macau.
Macau is a supported economy in FTA Programme of BUD Fund. (Please notice that Macau is NOT under “Mainland Programme“) Hong Kong companies going to explore the Macau market can enjoy 50% subsidy from the BUD Fund, with cumulative grant up to HK$ 4 million. The scope includes branding, upgrading and marketing. For example, setup an office in Macau, build a Macau website or digital marketing, and exhibition in Macau etc. All these items are under the support of BUD Fund. If you plan to seek business opportunity in Macau, please take a look of the BUD application detail as well as the BUD proposal requirement. You are also welcome to reach BUD Fund consultant BizMagnet for more information of BUD Fund.
- (2020) Statistics and Census Service, Macao SAR Government, https://www.dsec.gov.mo/en-US/Statistic?id=901
- (2019) Exclusive: Protest-free Macau to win financial policy rewards from China, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-macau-politics-exclusive/exclusive-protest-free-macau-to-win-financial-policy-rewards-from-china-idUSKBN1YG0EJ