The British Chamber of Commerce in Macao, to be known in short as Britcham Macau, celebrated its rebranding last night, with its members toasting to new business opportunities brought about by the development of the Greater Bay Area and the anticipated departure of the U.K. from the European Union.
Formerly known as the British Business Association of Macao, the name had reportedly been a source of confusion to outsiders. At an event held yesterday at The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central, association members told the Times that adopting the more standard ‘chamber of commerce’ designation would clear up that confusion.
The Chairman of Britcham Macau, Keith Buckley, said the decision to change the association’s name had been prompted by several factors.
It was fitting, he said, to adopt a new designation in time for the coming decade only a few months away. The Macau SAR will also enter its third decade after it celebrates the 20th anniversary of its founding on December 20, 2019.
But the rebranding effort also sought to better position the chamber of commerce to capitalize on two geo-economic initiatives; the development of the Greater Bay Area in southern China’s Guangdong Province, and the anticipated departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The U.K. is set to leave the political and economic bloc on October 31.
Buckley argued that Brexit would pose an interesting opportunity for Macau.
“Brexit will be a big opportunity for Macau,” advanced the Britcham Macau Chairman. “More than half of Britain’s trade is [with countries] outside of the European Union, so there is an opportunity there for that trade to grow.”
One growth opportunity for British businesses is the Greater Bay Area, a pan-territorial project linking nine mainland cities and the special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong.
“The [U.K.’s] Department for International Trade Hong Kong has commissioned a study on the possibilities brought about by the Greater Bay Area, for example in the health and education sectors” where Britain has exportable expertise, said Buckley. “Some of the companies [in these sectors] are already consulting us about the Greater Bay Area.”
According to Britcham Macau, the local government is yet to approach the U.K. for a post-
Brexit free trade agreement. However, Buckley said he expects “some approach will be made in time” and that the local chamber was “happy to be involved in an ongoing open dialogue.”
The organization also unveiled a new logo at yesterday’s event. The original logo and its refreshed image were both designed by Macau’s Conde Group.
“The lotus-inspired graphic is now more friendly and fat; the sharp edges are now rounder and more welcoming; and the relation between the Union flag-colored lotus and the Macau [flag-colored lotus] is reinforced and more balanced,” said Buckley in prepared statements.
“By dropping the formal designation of the ‘British Chamber of Commerce in Macau’ from the identity and adopting a [lower case] ‘Britcham’, the brand positioning and perception is more informal, simple and somehow a little more quirky.”
The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, a city on the southern coast of the U.K., was also in attendance yesterday, having been flown out by Britcham Macau.