On September 5, 2021, China issued a general plan for building a Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin. Later, the administrative organizations inaugurated. In the past 12 months, the Cooperation Zone has facilitated the integrated development of Hengqin and Macao, with 682 new Macao-funded enterprises and the total number of those enterprises has exceeded 5,000.
(Photo / Nanfang Daily)
Figures show that Macao has deepened its collaboration with Guangdong through the Cooperation Zone in many aspects. For instance, now there are 3,632 Macao residents living in the zone, with a year-on-year increase of 9.5 percent. After limits were lifted on the quota of Macao single-plate non-commercial passenger vehicles, the number of them entering and exiting Macao through Hengqin port reached 690,000, an increase of 22 percent year on year.
In terms of health care, the number of Macao residents receiving medical services in Hengqin's public medical institutes went over 8,000, an increase of 1.5 times year on year. As of September 1, 2022, 194 Macao students studying there, up 66 percent year on year, accounting for about 3 percent of the Zone's total.
As for rules connectivity, it has implemented favorable tax policies for Macao residents and enterprises. With policies such as a preferential corporate income tax rate of 15 percents, and the individual income tax rate of 15 percent, the tax burden on Macao residents working or engaged in businesses in the Zone is cut by 70 percent.
(Photo / Nanfang Daily)
Meanwhile, construction of Hengqin Checkpoint Phase II in the "first-tier line" (Hengqin Island-Macao) and infrastructure facilities of the "second-tier line" (Hengqin Island-the Chinese Mainland) is well underway to ensure closed operation in 2022.
In terms of major industries, the Cooperation Zone has released measures to accelerate the development of the integrated circuit (IC) industry, financial industries, and Macao-funded enterprises. To support the development of Macao's bond market, it provided enterprises issuing bonds in Macao with incentives up to 5.5 million RMB. Now there are 29 QFLP pilot enterprises, including 12 Macao-funded ones.
As for deepening reform, a Guangdong-Macao cross-boundary data verification platform commenced operations in October 2022 to efficiently verify cross-boundary personal data. The platform is now running a trial of its service on financial information, which will provide a good experience for cross-boundary financial cooperation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Also, it is the first in Guangdong to roll out a "non-contact" taxation innovation, providing services to 6.3 million taxpayers without person-to-person contact.
Moreover, public services and social security systems were promoted to be in line with Macao. The housing estate of "Macao New Neighborhood", the first comprehensive livelihood project tailored for Macao citizens in the Chinese mainland, is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
The construction of the project's supporting facilities such as kindergartens, elementary schools, health stations, and elderly service centers will be accelerated to pilot for connecting with Macao's education, medical, social security, and other public service systems. It is estimated to provide accommodation for over 10,000 Macao residents upon its completion in 2023.
In addition, more than 1,000 Macao professionals in architecture, tourism, healthcare, and other fields are qualified for cross-boundary practice in the zone.
Author: Will, Lynette (intern)
Editor: Wing, Jerry