15 June 2017
How Is The Evolution Of Macau’s Economy Impacting Investors’ Business Strategies?
There have been some big changes since the opening of the gambling industry in Macau some 15 years ago. Today, Macau’s casino market is the largest in the world; it is thought to be seven times bigger than that of Las Vegas and it is still the only place in China where gambling is legal.
Macau has been transformed into a gaming hub, which is being powered even further by the development of major hotels, shopping centres and residential complexes. With the development of the Hengqin New Area (one of China’s special economic zones located within walking distance of Macau) and the completion of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge scheduled for the end of 2018, Macau is connecting the nearby cities of the Pearl River Delta, potentially broadening its target market. In recognition that Macau’s huge gaming sector is dominating the city’s economy, the government of the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) has already made considerable efforts to diversify the economy; for example, through the development of non-gaming industries to evolve the economy into one that focuses on gambling, tourism, entertainment, culture and creativity. Likewise, the city’s simple and low taxation regime and its free port, with no foreign exchange controls, contribute to creating a business environment that attracts overseas corporations to incorporate companies in Macau. Macau has become an offshore financial centre, a free port and a tax haven.
The latest Macau rates for profits (complementary) tax and salaries (professional) tax, in addition to tax-relief measures approved in the government budget for the 2017 Financial Year, are shown in Tables 1 and 2.