Macau’s economic diversification to focus on integration into nation’s development: govt plan

2023-11-02 03:05     BY Tony Wong    Comment:1

The Macau government yesterday announced the final version of its plan for appropriately diversifying the city’s economy based on its “1+4” model, according to which the local government’s appropriate economic diversification drive will require the city’s active integration into the nation’s development plans and strategies.

According to the plan, the drive will require Macau to grasp the opportunities created by the nation’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and by the ongoing development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA).

The government’s 1+4 model aims to consolidate and diversify the development of the city’s tourism and leisure industry, i.e., the “1” element, while putting special emphasis on promoting the development of four new key industries, i.e., the “4” element, namely 1) big health mainly driven by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), 2) modern finance, 3) high-tech, and 4) MICE and commerce as well as culture and sport.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong underlined that Macau will need to push ahead with its appropriate economic diversification drive in compliance with the principle of meeting the nation’s needs by making good use of its own advantages, adding that Macau will need to continue strengthening its development “dynamics” while serving the high-quality development of the nation’s economy.

The 80-minute press conference, which was also attended by several other senior officials, was held at the Services Platform Complex for Commercial and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (aka Forum Macao Complex) in Nam Van.

Details of the plan were presented by Policy Research and Regional Development Bureau (DSEPDR) Director Cheong Chok Man during yesterday’s press conference.

The plan announced yesterday will cover a period from 2024 through 2028.

The full version of the plan available in Chinese and Portuguese can be downloaded from the bureau’s website (

The government carried out a 30-day public consultation between August 4 and September 2 this year on the drafting of its appropriate economic diversification plan, after which the government compiled the plan’s final version, which was announced yesterday, after assessing the opinions collected during the consultation period.

Lei said yesterday that 92.1 percent of the opinions collected by the government supported its appropriate economic diversification plan.

‘Invisible & visible’ hands

Lei underlined that the local government has drawn up the plan in compliance with Macau’s ongoing participation in the development of the GBA and the Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin.

Lei said that the development of the various sectors covered by the plan will be mainly driven by market forces while the government will also play an active role in guiding the direction of their developments. The market is the “invisible hand” while the government is the “visible hand”, respectively guiding and adjusting the operation of the economy, Lei said.

Lei said that with the central government’s strong support and Macau government’s implementation of various measures, the local government is now “more confident than any time before” in achieving the city’s appropriate economic diversification.

First official plan

Lei also pointed out that while the local government has been promoting the city’s appropriate economic diversification since the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR), it is now the first time that the it has drawn up an official plan.

According to the plan’s final version, the government will work on gradually increasing the share of the four new key industries in the local economy. The plan requires non-gaming sectors to account for around 60 percent of Macau’s total gross domestic product (GDP) by 2028.

The plan lays out details of the four new key industries’ development goals, as well as major tasks and key projects necessary for achieving their developments.

Cheong underlined that the government only lay out development goals in the plan that it has concluded it will be able to achieve by 2028.

Cheong also acknowledged that the plan “does not lay out much” about quantitative indicators that the government will need to achieve, pointing out that the plan primarily lays out “directions” guiding the government to achieve its 1+4 drive. 

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong (right) answers media questions during yesterday’s press conference at the Forum Macao Complex while showing a copy of the government’s appropriate economic diversification plan for 2024 to 2028, as Policy Research and Regional Development Bureau (DSEPDR) Director Cheong Chok Man looks on. Photo: Tony Wong

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