Macau’s new RMB hub status requires a regulatory overhaul

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 1 Nov 2016

Macau, the world’s biggest casino hub, is preparing for its new role as a renminbi (RMB) clearing platform for Portuguese-speaking countries but the city’s outdated financial regulations need an overhaul.

Chinese premier Li Keqiang confirmed during a three-day visit to Macau on October 12 that Beijing was to turn the former Portuguese colony into an RMB clearing centre for Portuguese-speaking countries. The president of the $1 billion Fund for Development Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, announced in 2013, also confirmed on the same day that the Fund’s headquarters would be relocated from Beijing to the city.   

However, strict labour laws coupled with bureaucracy have hindered foreign companies from establishing their operations in the city.

"If the authorities intend to create a specific clearing house, modelled on Hong Kong’s, but the Macau government does not relax the labour laws,...