7th December 2023

Better business. Better community

Business Industry and Financial

Main responsibility to advance investment support measures in Hengqin falls on banking sector – CE

Banks are mainly responsible for implementing financial measures to support investment in the Hengqin Cooperation Zone, with Macau authorities responsible for establishing the relevant necessary platforms, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng indicated today (Friday).

Today, Ho attended an AL plenary session to respond to legislator questions concerning the 2023 Policy Address, with the legislator and Chairman of the Macau Association of Banks (ABM), Ip Sio Kai, inquiring if an entity responsible for the administration and promotion of cross-border investment flows within the cooperation area would be established.

In its reply, Ho highlighted that the short, medium, and long-term plans for the Hengqin Cooperation Zone development have already been clearly announced, with a “basic cross-border financial management system completed by 2025”, and the integration of financial services between the cooperation zone and Macau achieved partially.

The CE also expressed the hope the ABM could advance initiatives to help advance the 30 financial measures announced to support investment in Hengqin, with the assistance of the authorities in either mainland China, Hengqin, or the SAR,” he underlined.

In March the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and four other government authorities issued 30 financial measures to support investment in Hengqin.

These focus on five broad areas: building a financial environment that provides more convenience to Macau residents; promoting the connectivity of Hengqin and Macau as financial markets; facilitating cross‑border trade and investment; helping Macau develop modern financial infrastructure; and strengthening cooperation in financial supervision.

“The main responsibility to advance falls on the banking sector, it should be assumed by the banks and the ABM,” Ho expressed.

Revising plans

The head of government also noted that now that the pandemic and gaming concession tender have been overcome, local authorities will revise and release a detailed plan of its 1+4 economic diversification development strategy, possibly in June.

The 1+4 model was first advanced by the CE in its 2023 Policy Address announced at the end of last year and involves the goal to consolidate the development of the city’s tourism and leisure industry while putting special emphasis on promoting the development of four key new industries.

These four industries include big health, modern finance, high-tech, conventions and exhibitions, culture, and sports; with strengthened participation in the Guangdong-Macau In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin required.

“We have already presented the 1+4 policy but as the city was still under the pandemic we did not publish its detailed development plans. We also had the gaming license concession tender at the end of last year […] We are reviewing the 1+4 plan according to the new environment and will advance maybe in June,” Ho stated.

“Considering the different economic conditions in the first quarter of this year we had to implement some changes”