Current business situation
Macao is a free and open service-orientated economy accounting for 93 per
cent of gross domestic product (GDP) (
Source: Government of Macao Special Administrative Region Statistics
and Census Service,
Statistics Database, 10 October 2018
). Investment in resort and entertainment projects and related
infrastructure has transformed Macau’s economy. Macau has become the
world’s largest gaming centre and has one of the highest levels of per
capita GDP in the world. The International Monetary Fund projects Macau to
have the highest level of GDP per capita by 2020 ( International Monetary Fund,
GDP List, 10 October 2018
After experiencing strong economic growth in recent years, Macau’s GDP
shrank by 20.3 per cent in 2015 due to a slowdown in the gaming sector, but
has since bounced back to an 11 per cent growth in 2017. (Source: Government of Macao Special
Administrative Region Statistics and Census Service,
Macao in Figures 2018, 10 October 201
8). The Macau Government is encouraging casino operators and retailers to
focus on the mass market and non-gaming facilities, positioning Macau as a
family oriented holiday destination. This approach seems to be working,
with the number of visitors to Macau increasing from 2016 to 2017 by 5.4
percent to 32.5 million (Source: Jones Lang LaSalle,
JLL Retail Macau Recovery, 10 October 2018).
Any Australian business looking to conduct business in Macau will need to
take local cultural dynamics into consideration.
Some basic considerations business representatives should be aware of
Exporters should send as much documented information about their companies,
products and services as possible in advance of their visit. Business
visitors must remember to follow up on meetings when they return to
Australia. The quality of your agent or representative’s contacts is
crucial and business introductions are vital, as companies do not deal with
unknown or recommended contacts.
Answer enquiries, proposals, correspondence and invitations as soon as
possible. At the very least, immediately send an acknowledgement stating
that an answer will follow shortly. If you do not show sufficient interest
and speed in your correspondence, your potential customer will easily find
another firm who will.
Many Macanese business people will have an English first name, used with a
Chinese family name e.g. Peter Chan. In this case, the family name is used
last, as in Australia. Normally when a Chinese name is written, the family
name comes first, with the given name following e.g. Mr. Chan Tai-Man would
be addressed as Mr. Chan.
The exchange of business cards is a must in Macau, so it is advisable to
carry a large number of cards with you and they should be presented and
received with both hands.
Dinners and lunches with local representatives and customers help to
develop networks. Seating should be arranged so that the Australians are
spaced evenly with the Chinese guests.
Chinese place importance on punctuality and visitors should do their best
to avoid arriving late. Itineraries should take this into consideration and
allow adequate time to move from one appointment to the next.
Avoid embarrassing Chinese in the presence of others. To avoid the person
losing face, discuss any criticisms in private. In some cases, it may be
helpful to use an intermediary to convey criticism, particularly with
someone of high social status.
Setting up in Macau
Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM)
is the official entity to help overseas businesses invest and provides
significant resources and advice on setting up a business in Macau. The
Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau
also has information for those considering setting up a business.
Due to limited port and storage facilities for both sea and air freight,
and relatively low trading volumes for goods, many Australian products that
are exported to Macau are channeled through agents and distributors based
in Hong Kong. Some of these agents have established distribution channels
in Macau and can therefore service both markets directly. Many Hong
Kong-based agents also use Macau companies to distribute to local buyers.
For live and chilled meats and fresh produce it is possible to make use of
direct airfreight services from Australia to Macau which operate on a daily
basis. Please contact the Austrade office in Hong Kong for more
Banking and finance
Macau, has a small but efficient financial system and a high degree of
financial freedom without undue government influence and control. The
Monetary Authority of Macau
supervises and regulates the financial system to assure the free flow of
Links and resources
Government, business and trade
Macau SAR Government Portal
Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute
Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau
News and media
Macau Business (business magazine)
Macau Daily Times
Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.