The Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) says “favourable prospects” regarding the city’s exports of services “would underpin Macau’s economic recovery”.
“External demand is expected to pick up as Macau and its neighbouring regions have lifted entry restrictions and moved towards full reopening of borders,” the city’s de facto central bank said in its latest ‘Monetary and Financial Stability Review’, released this month.
The institution added that it expected promotional campaigns to be launched by the Macau authorities with the aim of “attracting regional and international visitors”, in order to “speed up the recovery of inbound tourism”.
Macau should be one of the Asia-Pacific tourism destinations that will benefit soonest and most significantly from the easing of outbound travel arrangements for Chinese, since the mainland authorities discontinued their ‘zero-Covid’ approach at the turn of the year, said Fitch Ratings Inc in a Thursday report.
On January 24 – the fourth day of the latest Chinese New Year holidays – Macau recorded 90,391 arrivals, its highest daily total since early 2020, contributing to a surge in holiday-season arrivals.
The AMCM stated in its latest review of the city’s economic outlook: “Given the low base effect, Macau’s economy is expected to rebound at a double-digit rate for the whole year of 2023.”
But it cautioned: “Nevertheless, as a small open economy, Macau’s economic recovery would hinge on the evolution of the pandemic and development of major export markets.”
Macau’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 33.4 percent year-on-year in real terms in the third quarter of 2022, according to official data. The figures showed that exports of services in the three months to September 30 fell by 46.7 percent year-on-year. Of those, exports of gaming services and other tourism services declined by 72.5 percent and 45.9 percent year-on-year respectively.
The city’s GDP had also decreased in the first two quarters of 2022, after growing by 18.0 percent year-on-year in full-year 2021.
As Macau’s new gaming concessions came into effect on January 1, the monetary authority said it expected the city’s six concessionaires to “roll out gradually their investment projects in non-gaming segments, generating new impetus for growth”.
The six Macau operators have as a whole pledged to the government to spend in aggregate a minimum of MOP108.7 billion (US$13.5 billion) on non-gaming and exploring overseas-customer markets during the fresh, 10-year concessions.
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Chief commercial officer of testing and certification firm GLI