Monday, 22 Oct 2018
News: U.S. Consul General visited Legislative Assembly of Macau SAR
 
 
Posted on February 17, 2011
 
美駐港澳總領事訪立

【本報消息】美國駐港澳總領事楊甦棣昨日拜訪立法會主席劉焯華後表示,今次拜訪立法會,主要是了解澳門立法會的工作,尤其是澳門在橫琴的項目。此外,美資大型企業在澳門的投資很成功,領事館亦希望多了解外資公司在澳門持續發展下的機會和挑戰。
 
美國駐港澳總領事楊甦棣昨日上午十時半拜訪立法會主席劉焯華,這是楊甦棣自去年三月就任美國駐港澳總領事以來,首次拜訪澳門立法會。他表示,對其工作來說,了解澳門立法會的工作十分重要。劉焯華昨日亦向其詳細介紹了立法會的工作及澳門的發展狀況,包括立法會討論關於稅務、預算等法案,以及澳門在橫琴的項目等。
 
楊甦棣表示,澳門與美國的關係在過去數年有很多轉變,尤其是博彩業發展後,美資公司在澳門的業務很成功,他亦很高興看到此成績,美國駐港澳總領事館亦希望盡可能了解,在澳門持續發展下,外資企業面對的機會及挑戰,並希望澳門政府能給予本地及外地的投資者平等的機會。
 
關於美資公司輸入外僱的問題,楊甦棣表示,澳門的失業率很低,只有建造業的失業情況較多,如果本地人能夠擔任的工作應讓本地人擔任。但如果本地人沒有相關工作所需要的技術,政府應該讓企業輸入本地沒有的技術人才。 
 
 
 
The decision to reject Sands China’s application for the Cotai plots 7 and 8 was “not-discriminatory,” US consul general for Hong Kong and Macau, Stephen Young, said yesterday. “We want a level playing field, equal opportunities for foreign investors. We are of the opinion that is being presented,” he said after a meeting with the president of the Legislative Assembly, Lau Cheok Va.
 
Last December, the Government rejected an application from local gaming operator Sands China for plots 7 and 8 and also dismissed interest from rival operator SJM Holdings. The decision was made even though Sands China, subsidiary of US-based Las Vegas Sands, claims to have already invested around USD 162 million (MOP 1.29 billion) in the two sites.
 
“My sense is that this policy is not discriminatory but is intended to regulate the growth of the economy and the industry in general,” Young said. “There’s not some sort of special conditions that prejudice foreign investment. If you talk with foreign operators, they feel they are fairly treated,” he added.
 
The relationship between the US and Macau “has really changed in the last 8 years due to the expansion of the gaming industry,” the diplomat said. Gaming operators Las Vegas Sands, Wynn or MGM “saw an opportunity” and “have put a lot of effort into participating in this expansion,” he praised.
“I think that has been pretty successful. We are very pleased by that,” Young acknowledged. Still, he added, “our responsibility is to understand both the opportunities and the challenges”.

Labour shortage

In November last year, the US consul general urged the Macau Government to better protect the rights of all foreign investors, saying that all foreign investors should be “treated fairly and in a transparent manner”. He also called on the Administration to handle foreign companies’ requests to secure labour quotas for projects fairly and in a transparent manner.
 
“I have often spoken with Chief Executive [Fernando] Chui [Sai On] and they are very aware of this issue [labour shortage],” Young said yesterday. “The question is: are there local people capable of doing the job or do you have to bring them from elsewhere?” he stressed. 
 
“As long as the labour policy if focused on that and is not artificially favouring people who are not skilled to do the job, that’s good,” the diplomat said. The local Government “has said that, where skills are not available in Macau, the companies will be allowed to hire people from elsewhere. If that continues, everyone will be in good change,” he emphasised.
 
Almost a year after being appointed as US consul general for Hong Kong and Macau, Young visited the Legislative Assembly for the first time. “It’s important for us to understand what they do. President Lau was very instructive on issues from taxation to budgets and, of course, the expansion of Macau into Hengqin Island,” he said.
 
Macau and Zhuhai authorities are set to develop Hengqin island together, with projects such as the new University of Macau campus and the Chinese Medicine Technology Industrial Park. “It’s a very interesting project,” the diplomat said.