Fireworks illuminate Macao's skyline, especially the Macao Tower which is 338 meters tall. [Photo/VCG]
Location: on the southeast coast of China, west bank of Pearl River estuary, 60 kilometers from Hong Kong and 145 km from Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province
Area: 32.9 square km, comprising Macao Peninsula, Taipa Island and Coloane Island
Sea area: 85 sq km
Population: 663,400 (third quarter 2018)
Language: Chinese and Portuguese (official); Cantonese (daily use); English is widely used in business, trade and tourism.
Weather: East Asia monsoon; hot and rainy in summer, sunny and clear in autumn, and cold and dry in winter
Employment population: 386,100 with unemployment ratio of 1.7 percent (according to statistics from September to November 2018 from Macao government)
Macao casino. The entertainment industry is developing prosperously in Macao. [Photo/VCG]
According to the national 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), Macao will be built into a world-class tourism and leisure center and a service platform for business and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. With a focus on the exhibition, trade and business sectors, Macao promotes diversified and sustainable economic development.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) provides new opportunities for Macao in carrying out foreign economic cooperation and accelerating moderate and diversified economic development. As a free port for international trade, Macao will positively participate in the construction of the BRI and further expand its development space by fully leveraging its advantages such as the "one country, two systems" policy and close relationships with Portuguese-speaking countries.
The economic cooperation between Macao and cities in the Pearl River Delta is deepened as many preferential policies and plans have been put forward, including the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and the Greater Bay Area Development Outline.
Economy and business advantages
Since the return of Macao to Chinese sovereignty in 1999, the economy has developed steadily and the unemployment rate has remained low. Economic indicators such as the number of visitors to Macao, retail sales and the median income of residents have all increased.
As a free port and separate customs territory, Macao was named one of the most open trade and investment systems by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Corporate income tax is limited to within 12 percent.
Macao has maintained trade connections with more than 100 countries and regions, and joined more than 50 international organizations. Its business operation standards are in line with international practice.
Macao took 34th place among 180 economic entities in the world and ninth place in the Asia-pacific region, according to the 2018 Index of Economic Freedom jointly released by the Heritage Foundation in the United States and the Wall Street Journal.
Operating since 1995, Macao International Airport on Taipa Island connects the Peal River Delta with the outside world. The airport operates 24 hours a day.
Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, Taipa Ferry Terminal and Inner Harbour Ferry Terminal provide services for passengers commuting between Macao and Hong Kong, and Macao and the Chinese mainland.
Roads and bridges
The three islands in Macao are linked by three giant bridges and reclaimed land.
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge opened in November 2018. The 55-km-long bridge shortens commuting time to less than 30 minutes between the Hong Kong International Airport and Macao.
A section of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge [Photo/VCG]
Light rail system
Construction work on a light rail system in Macao has started. The section on Taipa Island will be 9.3 km long and linked by 11 stations.
Telecommunications services including international telex, telegraph, internet and satellite TV are readily available. There is international direct dialing (IDD) from Macao to 246 countries and regions.