“The worst is over” – glimmer of hope for Macao’s economy

But city needs to attract foreign investment says Institute of Management President Samuel Tong Kai Chung.

Macao economy
Photo by Joshua J. Cotten

Macao’s economy is recovering “slowly but steadily” – such is the positive forecast from Institute of Management (MIM) President Samuel Tong Kai Chung.

Tong said on Wednesday that the city’s economy passed its “worst period” in the second quarter of last year.

Speaking on the sidelines of MGM and Macau Young Entrepreneur Incubation Centre (MYEIC) Youth Entrepreneur Nurturing Programme, Tong added that the speed of the economy’s recovery would be affected by three factors – the development of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Hong Kong’s Covid-19 situation and the vaccine’s effectiveness.

Tong noted that Macao’s economy rests on three pillars – trade in services, local consumption expenditure, and foreign direct investment. He pointed out that in recent years the investment market for gaming industries has been saturated, adding that Macao could attract foreign investors if it had more interesting investment projects, such as collaborations with Hengqin.

In terms of local consumption expenditure, Tong said that it depends on the unemployment rate in Macao. He said that if the unemployment rate stays at three to four per cent then the figures will slowly recover. However, he added that if the unemployment rate suddenly increases local consumption expenditure will be “pressured”.

Tong also said that he acknowledged that the consumer price index has decreased  in recent months. However, he said that tourism is the external factor of the index, and while  overall the figures are decreasing the numbers for food and non-alcoholic beverages continue to increase by three per cent.

According to Tong, February will be an important month to examine the recovery of Macao’s economy.

(Macao News/The Macau Post Daily)