This content is from: Local Insights

Macau: Policy plans for 2015

Pedro CortésMarta Mourão
This seems to be the year to focus on the economy of Macau. In light of the latest Policy Address delivered by the Chief Executive on March 23 2015, it is clear that the Macau Government needs to focus on stable and healthy economic adjustment, risk prevention and the promotion of economic restructuring.

The goals in this sector include: maintaining the stability and health of the financial and monetary situation and the low unemployment rate; improving the business environment; actively promoting the stabilisation of products

on the market and their prices; improving the quality of

people's livelihood; and, making breakthroughs in promoting adequate diversification of the economy.

The gaming industry will receive extra attention, including support to needy workers to overcome difficulties encountered during the economic adjustment period.

It is expected that the GDP growth rate will slow down. Due to changes in the economic environment, gaming fiscal revenues are facing a decrease. As these constitute the main source of public finance, Macau is considering a revision of its budget, which is now under discussion in the Macau legislative assembly.

One proposal of this revision aims to help small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to adapt to this economic adjustment phase by enhancing tax benefits in the complimentary tax. This includes increasing the amount of its exemption from P300,000 ($38,000) to P600,000.

The 2015 Policy Address also includes measures to support SMEs and micro-enterprises, to optimise the business environment and its services and reduce administrative formalities. This will be done by reducing the time and cost involved in their treatment, which includes an exemption from charges for the issuance and renewal of licences relating to industrial exploitation in order to reduce the operating costs of their operators.

The Macau Government also expects to establish a so-called business assistant. The business assistant's duties will include providing information about administrative services to companies and helping them solve problems related to their business operations.

The lack of human resources experienced by SMEs and micro-enterprises is yet another problem that the Macau Government wishes to solve, to accelerate the application procedure when importing non-resident workers.

In a nutshell, 2015 seems to be the first year of contraction in the Macau economy. After 13 years of continuous growth, the Macau Government surely needs to adapt to these bearish economic and financial conditions.

Pedro Cortés and Marta Mourão

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