Saturday, 19 Oct 2019
AmCham Corner at MIF [dated 21-Oct-2016]

Local Press:  

Macao Daily News 澳門日報




東盟展區昨日中午十二時舉行開館儀式。東盟展區今年主題是“旅遊新景點  投資新機遇”,除展示最新的東盟貿易投資信息及東盟豐富的旅遊資源外,更組織了一系列推介會,讓與會者了解不同東盟國的投資機遇和旅遊資源。



Macau Business Daily

21st MIF Starts Strong  Kelsey Wilhelm | 21/10/2016 | in BUSINESS

The big meeting for business returns. This year, the 21st edition of Macau International Trade and Investment Fair kicked off with six official agreements inked between the territory and Beijing

A total of six official agreements were signed between Macau and Beijing, kicking off the first day of the this year’s Macau International Trade and Investment Fair (MIF), the 21st edition of the annual trade fair, which welcomes 1,600 exhibitor stands from over 50 countries and regions to the territory.

At the opening ceremony of the event, Dr. Wang Anshun Mayor of the People’s Government of the Beijing Municipality, partner city of the event, joined Paulo Alexandre Ferreira, Secretary of State Assistant and of Commerce of Portugal, partner country of the event, in praising Macau in its role as a platform connecting the Mainland, the SAR and Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries.

“The fire burns best when everyone puts a piece of wood on at the same time,” said Wang Anshung, noting how the recent 5th Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macau Forum) helped to elevate Macau’s international visibility and bring more focus to this year’s MIF.

This was coupled with statements from Secretary of State Ferreira, commenting that the Forum was a “clear sign of the will to deepen and take advantage of the historical ties that have binded us for almost five centuries”.

Later events, including the Beijing-Macao Co-operation Partnership 2016 – resulting in the six agreements - covering economy and trade, youth exchanges, cultural affairs, and education, joined the presence of exhibitors and representatives of Chambers of Commerce from various regions, seeking to expand trade options through the various areas.

The European Chamber of Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce, African Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Macau were just some of the representatives of their regions with booths at the event, with varying objectives for the Fair.

Speaking about the European objectives of the event was Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce, Pedro Cardoso, noting the advantages that these types of event bring to the MSAR.
“The (European Chamber of Commerce) pavilion has the objective of sharing the capacities of the EU (European Union) and the capacities that can be perfectly utilised for the MSAR, which has its five year development plan for different areas, from innovation and culture to ‘Smart City’. Europe has unique capacities in these areas,” said Cardoso.

This is something local entrepreneurs should seize upon, noted Cardoso, seeing a “good presence” of local companies at the Fair that can benefit from the networking opportunities.
“With those contacts, the companies can not only establish commercial relationships in the future, but also have the opportunity to acquire new ideas for new business opportunities in Macau,” said the president.

Outside Europe
Given the recent Macau Forum, the Macau-Portuguese-speaking countries focus of the central government has become cemented. However, looking towards some of Macau’s other local potential partners, many opportunities present themselves, with some more developed than others.

“I think there are a lot of opportunities in smart technologies; that’s an area that is ripe for development,” noted Jim Cunningham, Chief Commercial Consul at the Consulate General of the United States to Hong Kong and Macau, who helped inaugurate the American Chamber of Commerce booth at the Forum.

Cunningham holds a positive outlook for future chances for Macau development, commenting that: “we’re going to be bringing in a trade mission to Hong Kong in April of next year and we’d be very excited about the opportunity to bring in Macau officials, Macau businesses to look at how there can be collaboration with some of those companies to make Macau an even smarter city.”

Cunningham, as well as Cardoso and local businessman and Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Macau Paul Tse, see the IT sector as a particularly exciting sector for local development.
“There’s a three-party arrangement where everyone comes together to promote not just tourism but investment in commercial joint ventures, particularly in the area of IT,” notes Tse, referring to the trifecta of Portugal/Macau/China. “And these are the areas that Macau wants to focus on in its efforts to diversify and this is where countries like Portugal and cities like Beijing can really come and take advantage of the infrastructure that Macau has built up, take advantage of the platform of Portuguese-speaking countries,” said Tse.

The president also noted the value of having other countries and regions aside from China, Portugal and Macau.
“What is even more important (than the presence of local companies at MIF) is to have a strong presence from other countries and other territories […] it’s getting countries and territories to come together and participate in joint ventures, each taking advantage of its own strong points and taking advantage of the partners’ strong points,” he said.

The president of the Executive Board of the African Chamber of Commerce, Ansoumane Douty Diakité, noted how events such as these create exactly that value.

“For me, this kind of platform - it’s one of the best platforms in Macau when it comes to really promoting business or the role of Macau as a platform,” he said. However, without criticising the current situation, Diakité acknowledged that some further steps could help benefit nations and businesses without direct ties to the Portuguese-language – a singular focus of the local and central governments recently reinforced by Macau Forum.

“Macau has what you call a ‘comparative advantage’ in dealing with the Portuguese-speaking countries that’s why China focuses more, uses more, Macau to reach out to the Portuguese-speaking countries,” said Diakité. “But our chamber, being in Macau, we have a double hat: the first one is we can support the initiative of the Chinese government when it comes to doing things in Portuguese-speaking countries, but also when it comes to reaching out to the old-English or French speaking countries (in Africa), we also have a role to play there,” noted the president, seeing the potential for expansive development.

These types of opportunities can also be seized upon by other producers, noted the president of the Board of Directors of the Institute of European Studies in Macau, José Luis de Sales Marques.

“From what I’ve seen so far I think that of the local companies there are two categories of business: ones that are dedicated to import/export […] the other part - they’re the SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and they take advantage of the fair opportunity to put their products in front of the public and do B2C (business to customer) sales,” said the president.

This was evidenced by a collaboration by representatives of Portuguese supermarket giant Continente with local distributors as well as the presence of local, and recent winner of StartUp Macau Forum (occurring during the Forum Macau), Phantoms - both holding booths at the fair.

“We have the B2C objective for the distributor and then to also establish B2B (business to business) contacts, especially to Mainland China. It’s always a good way to conduct networking,” noted Continente’s Brand Manager in Macau, Tania Periera.

“As a startup we’re always trying to get more products out and continue with our business model, to provide more watches out there, to let people recognise our brand,” said the co-founder of Phantoms, Felix Lam.

Evidencing the duality of MIF, the local brand hopes to penetrate the international market, whereas the Portuguese supermarket is hoping to enter the Mainland China market.

Teledifusão de Macau, S.A. 澳門廣播電視股份有限公司

Inglês Notícias

MIF kicks off with fewer exhibitors but an innovation focus
The 21st Macau International Trade and Investment Fair has kicked off today with 1,600 exhibition booths from 50 countries and regions.

With Portugal as this year's Partner Country, the Portuguese Trade Secretary says they have more to offer, especially in the innovation sector, to both Macau and mainland China.

The 21st edition Macau International Trade and Investment Fair, or MIF, has kicked off this morning, with a 20 percent drop in the number of exhibitors.

There are over 1,600 booths in this year's MIF, covering an area of over 30,000 square metres. The authorities say over 800 representatives of different industries from around the world have registered to join the three-day event.

During his speech at the opening ceremony, Secretary Lionel Leong says the government would work on improving the event's branding.
"Supporting the MICE industry is one of our major tasks in diversifying Macau's economy," said Lionel Leong.

"After years of hard work and development, MIF, as a major event of Macau's MICE industry, has gradually gained international recognition and we are determined to continue supporting the branding of MIF," the Secretary for Economy and Finance said.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Macau agrees.
"There'll be several major contracts signed not just between the various governments but between the various commercial entities in the three cities and with other exhibitors from other countries in the area of IT, in the area of tourism, in the area of trading and investment," says the chairman of the chamber.

Paul Tse says the presence of American companies in Macau "has been strong and going from strength to strength since 2003."

And he believes US firms have played "a very significant share, if not the major share," in helping the Macau government turn the city "into the major entertainment capital of southern China."

Unlike before, this year's MIF has a new model of "Partner Country" and "Partner City", which this year will be Portugal and Beijing.

In the following three days, both sides are organising high-level delegation groups, seeking bilateral and multilateral co-operation opportunities.

Portugal's Trade Secretary says they have more to offer this time.
"We are here in this fair not only with the traditional products that we have brought in the past, like food products, but we are trying to introduce new connections within the areas of innovation," says Paulo Alexandre Ferreira.

"We are trying to show that Portugal has more to offer Macau and China than the traditional sectors we have here in the past," the official said.

Speaking of innovation and technology, Grow Up Gaming company, says they are hoping to bring their knowhow into the SAR.

"We feel like Portugal is more developed when it comes to this sort of technological platforms," the company CEO said.

"As such, we see our visit here as an opportunity to explore and enter undeveloped market in Macau and contribute with our knowhow," Telmo Silva explained.

The firm is already developing a smartphone application "to showcase the city. Even before they come here, people can visit all the sites, not just casinos, but also the hidden beautiful places in Macau," says Fernando Pereira.

"I think it's an interesting way to promote the city. We also think it's an innovative way to get things done. We hope people like it and use it," says Grow Up Gaming's operations director.

The application should be launched early next year.