|EU DAY MACAO|
|Host / Sponsor:||European Union Business Information Programme|
|Event Time:||Thu 12-May-2011 6:00 PM To 9:00 PM|
|Venue:||Mandarin Oriental Macao
Only for National European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong Members.
The European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, thanks to EUBIP funding, was delighted to host a symposium to celebrate the Europe Day with the European and local community in Macau. The event, titled “Macau, as a Regional Bridge for European Business Values and Culture” brought together two panels of experts, featuring a comprehensive range of diplomats (EU Consuls Generals), European business leaders and Chambers of Commerce in Macau, and academics (University of Macau). Maria Castillo, Head of the EU Delegation to Hong Kong and Macau also integrated the symposium as EUBIP’s distinguished guest.
The discussion focused on the role Macau can play as a strategic hub for European companies, notably SMEs wanting to enter the Chinese market: with a system based on the rule of law, a powerful economy in constant surplus, efficient infrastructure and strategic location, Macao is indeed an optimal link between Europe and China, and this message should be sent across to the European continent, where the knowledge about Macau is still limited and scarce.
Besides its role as a bridge, Macau also encloses great potential as a showcase in specific industries, such as environment, creative industries and retail, sectors where the European presence has been traditionally strong. Both diplomats and business leaders joined forces in a common call to Macau Government for intensifying its efforts in the diversification of the economy, in which the gaming industry plays a total hegemony. Nonetheless, behind the casinos’ industry lie a rich number of business opportunities in related sectors, such as food and beverage, hotel supply and hospitality, which should be commercialized abroad for attracting new foreign businesses and investment.
In the academic field, Macau universities urged EU diplomats for more cooperation with Universities across the EU. Currently, the University of Macau has agreements with 13 out of the 27 EU Member States, and new partnerships are to be expected in the coming years, but university exchange needs to be backed by Government support, both financially and legally. At the current stage, foreign students are not allowed to extend their stay in Macau once they finalize their studies to work as interns in Macau based companies. In practice, this translates into a clear limitation of the potential benefits inherent to international academic exchange.
The symposium was followed by an EU reception hosted by the EU Delegation and EUBIP and was attended by Macau Government authorities, Consuls Generals in Macau, business community and academics.