The question of Macao’s ability to compete with the other cities in the Greater Bay has been raised a lot, namely in the financial or tourist sector. In the latter, there is a certain fear or fear that the city will lose its uniqueness, especially due to the current uncertainties that hover around the gaming industry and what Beijing intends for its future.
Many even see Hengqin as a market to “kill”. The fear is logical, of course, and if those who govern are not aware of the consequences of poor regional planning – one in which they do not defend their interests and blindly follow a course of action from above – then yes, it could be death. slow.
But the issue can be reversed, not thinking so much about competitiveness, but about the benefits that regionalization and cooperation with the Greater Bay bring. What would Macao’s capacity to develop and diversify without this integration be?
The last few decades were dedicated solely to the gaming industry, an incredibly prosperous market, but facing such difficulties that not even the wisest analysts dare to confidently project the coming months. This focus on a mono-economy has built a city incapable of exploring other avenues.
Economic diversification is not a new topic, it was always in the plans, but it was increasingly understood that there was neither the capacity nor the space to develop it. Today it exists, with the first steps being taken in Hengqin. This island is part of a plan aimed at regionalization, seeking to integrate Macao into an urban conglomerate with immense potential.
The infrastructures, services and policies that are being created connect the city to the rest, motivating a greater flow of people, capital and talent attraction. Even going through a troubled period, Macau has to explore the region’s opportunities and assert its position. Given its size, it will never have the potential to compete in certain branches of the economy – with decades or years of advancement in other cities.
And if the chips are thrown in this direction, the error is crass. However, this should not be the concern; there are areas where Macau has advantages, namely in its tourist know-how, and it even brings markets to the table, if it reinforces its commitment to intermediating with Portuguese-speaking countries.
*Executive Director of PLATAFORMA