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Only 38% of Macao locals willing to work in the Greater Bay Area

37.9 percent of local residents aged at least 15 are willing to work or live in the nine mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, while only 23 percent were willing to work or live in Hong Kong.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:47 am

The findings of a survey carried out by the public University of Macau (UM) released Thursday show that 37.9 percent of local residents aged at least 15 are willing to work or live in the nine mainland cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), while only 23 percent were willing to work or live in Hong Kong.

The survey was conducted between December 17 and 30 last year via telephone. A total of 557 local residents aged at least 15 completed the survey.

The survey was conducted by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Policy Research Team under UM Centre for Macau Studies (CMS). The research team was led by lawmaker Agnes Lam Iok Fong, who heads the Centre for Macau Studies.

The findings were announced during a press conference on the university’s campus on Hengqin Island. The press conference was hosted by Lam and two members of the research group – Kwan Fung, acting head of the Department of Economics, and Sheng Li, associate dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The Greater Bay Area refers to the central government’s scheme to link the nation’s two special administrative regions – Hong Kong and Macau – with nine Pearl River Delta cities – Dongguan, Foshan, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shenzhen, Zhaoqing, Zhongshan and Zhuhai – into an integrated economic and business hub.

The findings of the survey also show that 53.8 percent of those surveyed were unwilling to retire in the mainland GBA cities.

According to yesterday’s press conference, the findings of the survey show that “most of the respondents are not willing to work or live in the mainland GBA cities or in Hong Kong, with the most major reason being unsuitable lifestyle.”

“In addition, less than half of the respondents are willing to retire in the mainland GBA cities. It is noteworthy that most of the respondents aged at least 55 are not willing to spend their elderly years in the mainland GBA cities,” the survey concluded.

The findings of the survey also show that “overall, young people and those with a college degree or above have a more open attitude towards working or living in GBA cities outside Macau,” according to the press conference.

“The survey has also found that about half of the respondents are willing to accept more residents from GBA cities visiting Macau as tourists or investors. However, less than 30 percent of the respondents are willing to accept more residents from other GBA cities as [non-resident] workers or immigrants in Macau.”(Macau News)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:47 am

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