Macau’s IR operators will benefit from greater access to human resources, capital and the exchange of goods as the SAR’s integration with Hengqin gains pace, according to David Cheang, AHA founder and head of AHA HK and Macau Youth Incubator Center.
Speaking with Inside Asian Gaming after presenting at a France Macau Chamber of Commerce breakfast last week, Cheang said there would be plenty of positives to come following the news last September that Macau and Guangdong Province will jointly govern the 106 square kilometers of land comprising Hengqin – part of a plan to facilitate Macau’s economic diversification.
“We all know that human resources are a very important productive factor in running a business and in Hengqin those Macau companies can employ a lot of professionals but without any regulations or labor quota,” Cheang said. “This could decrease a lot running costs.”
Cheang also said Hengqin would offer the possibility of diversifying Macau’s access to capital markets, noting rumors that the MOX – the official financial institution providing bond services in the territory – could set foot in Hengqin in the near future.
“Although we didn’t have any official announcement of that, there is some noise in the market about this kind of thing happening,” he said.
However, the greatest opportunities will likely come in areas of tourism.
“We all know that Macau is called the World Tourism and Leisure Centre and that Hengqin is the International Leisure and Tourism Island, so both of their positions can work together closely to attract more and more tourists,” Cheang continued.
“Cultural exhibitions and events, trade events, products and goods can also be bought [in Hengqin] because we are talking about tourism and that’s the business.
“I think the gaming sector can do a lot more in Hengqin by making use of those great policies and getting more benefits from connecting businesses in Hengqin with operations in Macau.”