Policy Address | Chinese medicine, finance sectors have ‘never been this close to success’

Macau’s traditional Chinese medicine industry and financial sector are said to be at a time when they are “closest to success,” according to lawmaker and gaming expert Davis Fong Ka Chio.
Yesterday, the Center for Macau Studies of the University of Macau (UM) hosted a seminar on the Policy Address of 2021. A total of 12 researchers, including lawmakers Agnes Lam and Fong, participated in the seminar.
During the event, Fong indicated that the Chinese medicine industry and finance industry of Macau have never been this close to success.
Chief Executive (CE) Ho Iat Seng recently announced that his government will expedite the development of a modern finance industry in the city.
The CE wants to accelerate the establishment of a bond market, develop wealth management businesses, and promote the establishment of cross-border RMB settlement centers.
Ho’s administration is not the first government to lay out such a plan. The previous government also wanted to explore this sector.
Speaking about the development of the modern finance industry in Macau, Fong began by acknowledging that in order for this industry to be successfully developed in the city, Macau’s efforts are needed in addition to the support of the Central Government, which is required for Macau to establish these laws.
Earlier this month, the Monetary Authority of Macau revealed that, in the upcoming two years, the local government expects to amend or establish three laws related to the finance industry.
In Fong’s opinion, the modern finance industry may be more important than some of the city’s other pivotal industries.
In addition to this industry, the Chinese medicine industry has also never been this close to success, according to Fong, who explained that many large state-owned companies have already announced that they will open branches in Macau and in Hengqin. For example, in January, Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Group (Macau) International Development Co. Ltd. was established in the city.
The local government has pledged to develop the Chinese medicine industry as one of the ways to diversify the city’s economy.
While Fong expressed strong confidence in the Chinese medicine industry’s development in the near future, a UM professor from the Department of Government and Public Administration, Tak-Wing Ngo, thinks that “it may not be wrong” for the government to further develop and invest in the Chinese medicine and finance industries.
In Ngo’s opinion, the Chinese medicine industry involves lengthy production chains consisting of various stages and components, including planting medicinal herbs, manufacturing, and sales. “Which component will Macau invest in, in such a long production chain?” Ngo questioned.
Ngo further asked, “What is Macau targeting while diversifying the economy and introducing more industries? Is it employment, tax income or the industries?”
The professor compared these two industries to the cultural and creative industry, which the government has “not been speaking about” and which has received “very small benefits.”

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