Strengths and Development Outline

Basic Information about Macao

– Macao is located on the south-eastern coast of China, along the west bank of the Pearl River estuary. It is 60km and 145km away from Hong Kong and Guangzhou respectively.

– It covers a total area of 30.3 square kilometres, comprising of the Macao peninsular as well as two outlying islands namely Taipa and Coloane.

– As at the end of June 2016, the total population stood at 652,500, with a composition mainly of Chinese, Portuguese and other nationalities making up of around 7.7% of the total population.

– The official language is Chinese and Portuguese, with Cantonese being the language in daily use. English is also widely used in the business, tourism and commercial sectors.

– It is located in the south-east monsoonal region with a hot and wet summer, sunny, dry autumn and cool winter with little rain.

– Sophisticated infrastructure facilities provide convenient sea, land and air transportation networks. Telecommunications and Internet provides easy networking.

– Macao’s standard of public health care is comparable to that of developed countries and regions. The government provides a primary health care system which meets European public health standards.

– There is a labour force of 397,800 and a working population of 390,400, with an unemployment rate of 1.9% recorded for the second quarter of 2016.

Source: Macao Statistics and Census Services

Development Orientation

– The National Thirteenth Five-year Plan expresses support for Macao in developing as a World Tourism and Leisure Centre as well as a Commercial and Trade Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and promoting the sustainable development of Macao’s moderate economic diversification.

– The national development strategy of the “Belt and Road” initiative provides new opportunities for the development of Macao’s external economic co-operation and accelerates the development of moderate economic diversification. Macao can utilise the strengths of the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”, as well as the advantages of being a free port for international trade and its close ties with Portuguese-speaking Countries and the vast number of returned overseas Chinese, to participate in the development of the “Belt and Road” initiative, and broaden the potential for further development.

– The implementation of the Mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and the Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Co-operation Framework Agreement, the Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta, as well as the Framework Agreement on Co-operation between Guangdong and Macao, will further enhance the economic integration of the Pan PRD region.

Economic Situation and Business Strengths

– Sixteen years since the Handover, Macao has recorded stable economic growth. GDP has grown 9 times from US$6 billion before the Handover to over US$55 billion in 2014. Macao has maintained a low unemployment rate. There were increases in terms of the number of incoming visitors, retail sales figures as well as residents’ median income.

– Macao has been rated by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as one of the most open trade and investment regimes in the world. It is a free port and an independent tariff zone, with a corporate profit tax rate of no more than 12%, and a far-reaching international marketing network and close ties with the Portuguese-speaking Countries, its role as a trade and economic co-operation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries has received increasing recognition over the years.

– Macao maintains trade and economic ties with over 100 countries and regions around the world and is a member of more than 50 international organisations. Business operation principles are in line with international practices, along with simple investment and business procedures and identical administrative procedures for both local and overseas investments, all contribute to making the city a desirable business environment for investors and business developers from around the world. According to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom released by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, Macao ranks the 37th among 178 worldwide economies and ranks the 9th in the Asia Pacific region.

Main Economic Indicators



The Macau International Airport, located in Taipa, commenced operation in November1995. Since then, it has rapidly established itself as a vital link between the Pearl River Delta, the fastest growing economic region in the world, and the rest of the world. It is a fully functional 24-hour airport. An 11,000-foot ILS CAT II equipped runway, constructed in strict accordance with ICAO standards, is capable of handling long haul flights. The airport is equipped with a full range of passenger and cargo facilities designed to handle six million passengers and 160,000 metric tonnes of freight a year.

Ferry Terminals

Macao’s ferry terminals include the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal located in the Macao peninsula, the Inner Harbour Ferry Terminal and the Inner Harbour Freight Handling Terminal with many piers for loading and unloading cargo, the Taipa Temporary Ferry Terminal in Pac On, as well as the Ka-Ho Oil Harbour consists of the Fuel Oil Terminal, Cement Terminal, Ka Ho Container Port, and Power Plant Terminal in Coloane.

Road Network and Bridges

Three bridges and a strip of reclaimed land link the Macao peninsula to Taipa and Coloane.

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge

With the construction started in December 2009, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, located in the Lingding Sea, is a major cross-sea link connecting Hong Kong, Macao and Zhuhai, as well as a new road to link the east and west coast of the Pearl River. The 29.6 kilometre-long structure will allow travellers to take less than 30 minutes to get from the Hong Kong International Airport to Macao. The construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will facilitate industrial development in the Pearl River Delta region.

Macao Light Rapid Transit System

The construction for the Macao Light Rapid Transit (LRT) was started in February 2012, the work on the three sections in Taipa began in the first half of 2012. Its service, carrying capacity and equipment will facilitate its integration with the regional transportation network, as well as coping with the needs of the region, highlighting regional integration, simulation and the development needs of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao cosmopolitan circle and the quality living circle.


A wide spectrum of telecommunications services are available including an international telex service, telegraph, internet, satellite television, with International Direct Dialling (IDD) service connecting to over 246 countries and regions.

The SAR government issued 4G telecommunication licences to four telecom companies in June 2015. The licences, effective immediately, last for eight years and the relevant services are now available.