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News Analysis: Macao’s Economy to Grow Fast

Macao’s economy will hopefully expand on a fast track this year on the back of robust tourism business, rise of tax revenues from casinos and picking-up exports, economists and government authorities have agreed.

 

The gross domestic product (GDP) of Macao is expected to grow 5percent or more in 2002 in an optimistic estimate from Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah, who is now visiting Inner Mongolia.

 

Ho noted there that “Macao’s economy has entered a period of embryonic recovery, compared with negative and zero increase before it returned to the motherland, thanks to strong support from the central government and social stability.”

 

Lao Pun Lap, president of the Macao Society of Economics Study,is also upbeat. “The economy could increase by nearly 6 percent in the whole year unless there were sudden changes in the outside world in the second half,” he said Friday.

 

Tourist arrivals in the special administrative region (SAR) went up a year-on-year 9.3 percent to 5.48 million in the first half of this year, helped by streamlined UFABet procedures for China’s inlanders to visit Macao and Hong Kong and a much higher number of travel agencies entrusted to manage the SAR-bound tours.

 

The increase of inland tourists was eye-catching, soaring 37.5 percent to 1.87 million. And they were the most generous group, spending money almost doubling that of tourists from other places.

 

The Macao Government Tourist Office is seeking to make tourists stay longer and spend more as the number of same-day visitors reached more than 2.3 million or 42 percent of the total in the first six months of the year.

 

As a result of encouraging casino performance, the SAR government raked in 3.45 billion patacas (431.25 million US dollars) in tax revenues from gambling sites from January to …