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Hengqin Island takes on Macao traits for mutual benefit

(cityofzhuhai.com)

Updated: 2021-09-07

The entirety of the 106-sq-km (41-sq-mile) Hengqin Island has opened up for Macao residents and industries to live and operate in a manner they are accustomed to under a new model of "one country, two systems" with Macao characteristics.

Major diversification of Macao's strongly casino-oriented economy is provided for under "The Overall Development Plan for Construction of the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin." The plan was issued Sept 5 by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and State Council. It promotes the long-term prosperity and stability of Macao and integration of the special administrative region into the overall development of the country, according to Macao officials.

Under the plan, qualified enterprises and high-end and urgently needed talent will receive 15 percent tax incentives. Macao professionals with overseas experience and young people are encouraged to work and live in thousands of apartments in the zone. They will have available Macao-style education, medicine, and other public social service systems. Additionally, there will be more and easier transportation connections with Macao and other parts of the Zhuhai area.

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Skyscrapers of Hengqin Financial Island, sprawling Hengqin Finance Industrial Service Base in foreground, Macao at right in background [Photo provided to cityofzhuhai]

An integrated high-level opening-up system will take form with tier-management of commodities, facilitated travel of personnel, innovative cross-border financial management, safe cross-border flow of international internet data, and highly convenient market access.

Hengqin Island already contains more than 3,290 Macao-invested enterprises. The zone will further nurture sci-tech research and high-end manufacturing, traditional Chinese medicine, culture, tourism, conventions and exhibitions, and modern finance.

By 2024 there will be more scientific and technological research and manufacture of integrated circuits, electronic components, new materials, new energy, big data, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and biomedicine. There will be strong connections with Macao's public service and social insurance systems, and a significant increase in the number of Macao people living and working in the zone. There also will be smooth cooperation in consultations, construction, and management under CPC leadership and rule of law.

By 2029 the economy of the cooperation zone and Macao will be in harmony. An in-depth connection of rules, efficient cross-border flow, scaled characteristic industries, and improved public service and social insurance systems will have been instituted. 

By 2035 the zone will have an efficient public service and social security system and even greater collaboration between Hengqin and Macao. The mission of promoting Macao's economic diversification will be basically fulfilled.

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