Fernando Chui Sai On (pictured), Macau’s chief executive, will discuss on Monday with the central government the possibility of extending the opening hours of the Macau-Zhuhai border crossings. Mr Chui says he is confident that the extension of the opening hours at the border checkpoints could take place soon.
Mr Chui stood unopposed and was elected for a second consecutive five-year term on August 31. He will meet with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Monday.
“The sooner this decision is taken the better, but we are confident that it may be [decided] by the end of the year,” Mr Chui told local media ahead of the meetings in Beijing, reports newspaper Business Daily.
Currently the Border Gate land border to Zhuhai is open from 7am to midnight seven days per week, and the Lotus Bridge crossing to Hengqin Island is open from 9am to 8pm seven days per week.
Longer border opening hours could be beneficial for Macau’s tourism and gaming markets as it could take pressure off the border checkpoints during major holiday periods.
An exit-entry permit system allowing mainland China passport holders to journey to and from Macau and Hong Kong went digital for all Chinese travellers on September 15, according to official news agency Xinhua.
Mr Chui also mentioned again the plan to request gaming operators to provide accommodation to their migrant staff.
The idea of casino operators providing transportation and accommodation to migrant workers – know locally as ‘non-resident workers’ or ‘blue card holders’ – was first included in the political manifesto of Mr Chui.
“During the campaign I said that we wished gaming operators would be responsible for the accommodation of their workers. That’s something we are still working on,” he was quoted as saying.
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Chairman of casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd