Macau to work with Chinese govt to help gaming sector

Ho Iat Seng plans to negotiate with Chinese government.
Ho Iat Seng plans to negotiate with Chinese government.

Governments to discuss re-issuing individual travel visas in order to allow mainlanders to visit Macau.

Macau.- Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said local government will negotiate with the Chinese central government to start re-issuing individual travel visas in order to allow mainlanders to visit Macau.

Ho Iat Seng spoke to the Legislative Assembly during his 2020 Policy Address and said: “We will also negotiate with the Guangdong province for the requirements for the issue of tourism visas to residents for travel to Macau in the province to be eased.”

According to Ho, discussions will also be had about allowing tour groups from the mainland to travel to the SAR.

Ho also explained that the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) will be transferred from the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture to the responsibility of the Secretary for Economy and Finance, in order to “better boost the development of the tourism sector”.

“The gambling and tourism sector is itself as a pillar industry, a competitive industry and also a dominant industry, driving the development of other sectors, providing economic foundations that guarantee the maintenance, in Macau, of a reduced tax burden and its status as a free business center,” Ho said.

He added that the government is “aware that maintaining a healthy and stable development of the gambling and tourism sector will continue, for a certain period of time, to be the basis and premise of the continued stability of the Macau economy.”

However, he admitted an “excessive and prolonged dependence of the gambling and tourism sector” “if the monolith nature of the local industrial structure remains unchanged, it will hinder the sustainable development of Macau’s economy. In the face of this epidemic crisis, the problems and risks associated with the economic structure of Macau were once again revealed.”

He concluded: “We must, therefore, looking to the future, foster the impetus for the adequate and diversified development of our economy and the construction of a more diversified industrial structure, thus providing solid foundations for the sustainable and long-term development of the Macau SAR. This is the consensus shared, and consolidated, by the whole of society in the face of this epidemic crisis”.

Suspended in January of this year, individual visas allow mainland Chinese living in eligible areas of the country to apply for a single-use travel permit to visit Macau or Hong Kong as independent travellers.

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