A certain uniqueness

A recent study considers that the role the MSAR can take in the Greater Bay Area is linked to the development of special financial features, while further regional co-operation is essential in preventing extensive damage caused by natural disasters

In order to provide a financial centre with special features that can contribute to the development of the Greater Bay Area, the MSAR Government should focus on establishing the announced RMB clearing centre for Portuguese-speaking countries and support the development of the private wealth management sector, according to a study released yesterday by the Macau Economic Association.
“We can’t compete with Hong Kong as an international financial services centre. Therefore we want to develop a financial centre with special features that need to be defined clearly,” the Chairman of the Macau Economic Association and appointed legislator, Joey Lao Chi Ngai, said yesterday.
Presented at a seminar held yesterday in co-operation with the Grand Thought Think Tank, the study by the Association sought to provide suggestions and comments on how the MSAR can contribute to better co-operation and development of the Greater Bay Area.
Mr. Lao also believes the establishment in Macau of a US$1 billion (MOP8 billion) fund for financing projects between Portuguese-speaking countries and Mainland China could attract investment to Guangdong Province through the MSAR.

Enhanced co-operation in the Greater Bay Area would also be essential to preventing the same level of destruction wrought by Typhoon Hato on August 23 and assure a steady supply of natural resources to the city.
“We suggest the construction of the tidal barrier to reduce damage caused by natural disasters and in order to do it we need the help and co-operation of Guangdong Province. Without [co-operation] it’s impossible to build on their areas of management,” Mr. Lao added.
The appointed legislator added that it would be “impossible” for Macau to be completely self-sustainable in terms of resources, so in order to prevent another shutdown after a natural disaster one of the main priorities of the MSAR Government should be to assure the supply of electricity, gas, water, food and other natural resources through co-operation with Guangdong Province and the Chinese central government.
“We should have more backup channels to ensure the supply of energy. The issue of providing more land plots for energy stations is that then they won’t be able to be used for public housing or social facilities,” he added.
A recent report by Public Housing Demand Research found that demand for public housing would reach 31,247 by 2021 while the government is capable of supplying 9,273 units in the same period.
For Mr. Lao although the current land supply would not be able to meet demand in the next years, the long term development of reclaimed land and in Hengqin would provide a supply even superior to local demand.
When asked how further inter-regional co-operation could help with the current housing issue in the city, Mr. Lao said neighbouring regions could provide more retirement areas for the local elderly population in the long term, while improving the purchasing power of residents.
“Fostered economic development will diminish the wealth gap between residents in the Greater Bay Area,” he concluded.