Hengqin and Macao coordinate FTZ and Silk Road initiatives
2015-April-2 Source: China.org.cn
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Cooperation between Hengqin New Area, Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province and its cross-strait neighbor Macao can benefit from the development of Guangdong Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and the "Belt and Road" initiatives, said Lao Ngai-Leong, a Macao deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) at the ongoing two sessions in Beijing, namely the NPC and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The national policies before the establishment of the Free Trade Zone and the management of the negative list which enables companies with overseas investments to enjoy equal treatment to those invested in by mainlanders, will encourage people in Macao to expand their businesses in Hengqin, said Lao, who is also the chairman of the Macao developer Chong Sai Group Enterprise Ltd. and vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese.

"The preferential policies are enhanced and they coordinate well with the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed between the central government and the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR)," said Lao in an interview with China.org.cn.

"[In this way,] I hope the registration procedures, which require applicants to fill different forms in front of different windows for several certificates, can be streamlined, so that people only need to apply for one certificate by filling in a single form from one window in the FTZ."

According to Lao, the FTZ policies also facilitate the flow of capital which can encourage innovation in the financial sector.

When the FTZ is launched, Hengqin's threshold for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Macao will be lowered. With its mature investment environment and improved legal system, Hengqin can help Macao diversify its gaming-based economy, Lao said.

In addition to the FTZ, according to Lao, Hengqin can also net the bonuses generated from the Belt and Road initiatives.

Lao proposed incorporating Macao into the Belt and Road initiatives at the ongoing two sessions. The Belt and Road consists of, the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.

To integrate Macao into the route for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in particular could facilitate cooperation between Macao and the mainland and be conducive to Macao's economic plurality, Lao said.

But the deputy also pointed out that as the tiny area of Macao may hinder its development along the strategic Maritime Silk Road. It needs to cooperate with Hengqin, making its neighbor a good platform for more business offices, service centers, inventory houses, manufacturing bases and accommodation for relevant personnel.


Editor: Will
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