Economy Secretary commends Macao Chamber’s SME initiative

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong has commended the Macao Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to cultivate small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Lei made the comment during his first official visit to the Chamber after assuming office.

The Chamber’s cooperation with the six gaming concessionaires over their SME procurement programs aligns with the government’s policy of developing the economy with the lead of the tourism industry, stressed the secretary.

During the visit, the two parties also discussed topics such as the general business environment, labor relations and human resources. The two sides promised to continue to maintain close ties and work together to better solve problems in the local economy.

Lei emphasized that the support offered by the government to local SMEs will continue and strengthen when necessary. New policies to support small businesses will require the government to listen to the public in order to better understand their actual needs, said the secretary.

The local government will also closely monitor changes in the global economy, said Lei, and study how they affect SMEs in the city

Lei’s team will strive to prepare for any negative impact on Macau, its economy and its enterprises brought about by fluctuations in the external environment. Special attention should be paid to aspects such as their working capital, which might need to be supported should major fluctuations in the economy occur.

In the meantime, the secretary said that the departments under his purview will work hard to optimize the business environment, improve relevant laws and regulations, and manage employee-employer relations.

He also pledged to strive toward the diversification of the city’s economy. One component of this will be the further economic integration of the territory into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

The secretary expressed his gratitude for the Chamber’s valuable input, which will be taken as an important consideration in governance.

Ma Iao Lai, President of the Chamber, noted that Macau’s economy began to decline in September 2019. In particular, the gaming, tourism and retail industries have been affected to various degrees. It is thought that the economic contraction will persist for some time.

The Chamber will remain supportive of the SAR government to stabilize the economy and employment situation, strengthen the confidence of investors and business people, and ensure sound economic development. Ma also hopes the government can help to remedy labor shortages in the market, among other pressing issues faced by local businesses. AL

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