Sands China supports Guangdong-Macau plans for Hengqin

 Macau plans to diversify the economy through an Intensive Cooperation Zone on Hengqin.
Macau plans to diversify the economy through an Intensive Cooperation Zone on Hengqin.

Sands China has welcomed the Guangdong-Macau plan to develop an intensive cooperation zone on Hengqin.

Macau.- Sands China has spoken in favour of Macau’s project to invest in Hengqin Island to create a favourable environment for Macau’s industrial diversification.

According to local media reports, the Guangdong-Macau cooperation zone in Hengqin will be focused on technology and high-end manufacturing, traditional Chinese medicine, tourism and MICE, and finance. Authorities plan to develop a zone that will assist with Macau’s economic diversification away from gaming.

Sands China said in a press release that it “is privileged to be making contributions to the economic diversification of Macau and the development of the city into a world centre of tourism and leisure.”

It said it will “continue to contribute to the economic diversification and long-term prosperity of Macau for its integration into the overall national development plan.”

In April, Lobo Viela released a research paper that said Macau’s gaming licence criteria should require “commitments relating to several non-core activities.” The paper noted that Macau is “excessively dependent on tourism and gaming.”

Analysts also suggest there should be a requirement for investment in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) to create an international world-class tourism destination that recognises the uniqueness of Macau’s cultural and social resources.

Sands China CEO believes Macau will extend gaming licences

Sands China CEO Wilfred Wong Ying Wai has said that the extension of Macau’s current gaming concessions “is the only alternative at this point.”

According to Wong Ying Wai, as Macau’s legislative elections will be held on September 12, there is no time for public consultation and legal amendments to the gaming law in time to prepare for a retendering before licences expire next year.

He said: “I don’t think the government is in a rush to renew the licences because they want to do things right.

“There are many legal issues they have to attend to, such as the concession and sub-concession issue, and for this, they can only go to the Legislative Assembly when the new assembly is in place.”

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