Taiwan’s man in Macau has creative approach

The head of Taiwan’s representative office here says Macau need not worry about competition for its casinos

The new director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Macau, Lu Chang-Shui, has said he welcomes more bilateral trade, particularly in goods and services produced by cultural and creative industries.
“Our strong point is the cultural and creative industries, which is also the sector that the MSAR government intends to promote,” Mr Lu told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of a seminar.
In the Policy Address for 2013, delivered in November, Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On reiterated that the government would set up a fund to nurture cultural and creative industries.
Mr Lu said: “Bilateral exchanges should also be reinforced in areas like tourism, Chinese traditional medicine and the development of small and medium businesses.”
He acknowledged that higher education remained one of the strongest links between Taiwan and Macau.
“Taiwan’s education expenses are not steep, while at the same time the quality of the education resources is well-assured,” he said. “And Taiwan is also able to provide a friendly and secure environment for learning.”
Last year almost 5,000 Macau students were enrolled in universities in Taiwan, 800 more than in 2010, according to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Macau.
Of the Macau students that that graduate from university in Taiwan, 95 percent return here to work.
Mr Lu said that if, as proposed, casinos opened on Taiwan’s outlying island of Matsu, they would not alter Taiwan’s ties with Macau.
“There are concerns over competition between the two places, but Macau need not worry about it,” he said.
“Macau has the advantage of having been in the gaming business for a long time, while Matsu is an offshore island that still needs a lot of infrastructure backup to develop gaming,” he said.
“Taiwan’s gaming operations model will be totally different from Macau’s, and gaming development in each place can carry on side by side,” Mr Lu said.
He said the Taiwan government had yet to decide on how to tax gaming.
An authority on the gaming industry in this part of the world told Business Daily in February that legislation to allow casino resorts in Taiwan was unlikely to go before parliament in Taipei until the third quarter of this year.