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    As a means of recognising each World Trade Center's specific contribution, the World Trade Center Macau held a seminar on "The New Regime of Textile and Clothing Exports to the European Union Market in 2005" on June 17, 2003. The seminar was held in honour of World Trade Centers Association Day. The guest speaker, Mr Joaquim Marinho de Bastos, who works for the Council of Ministers of the European Union, discussed the impact of the upcoming phasing-out of the existing quota system on the textile and garments industries, as well as aspects of the development of international trade.

   Mr Francis Tam Pak Yuen, Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macau Special Administrative Region Government, and Mr Vitor Ng Wing Lok, President of the Macao Foundation, were the guests of honour among more than one hundred people who attended the seminar, including the President and members of the Board of Directors of the WTC Macau and members of the WTC Macau Executive Committee, as well as Macau SAR Government officials, WTCM members, and business representatives.

   Mr Alberto Marçal, President of the WTC Macau, emphasised in his opening remarks that "according to the World Trade Organisation rules on the global trade in textiles and garments, the current quota system will be fully liberalised by 2005. As it is well known, the textile and clothing industry is Macau's main manufacturing industry. Macau's total value of garment and textile exports amounted to 14.1 billion patacas in 2002, corresponding to some 26 per cent of Macau's gross domestic product in that year. As far as the labour force is concerned, approximately 30,000 people are employed by the textile and garment sector, corresponding to about three fourths of Macau's total workforce in the manufacturing industry. Therefore, it is understood that the phasing out of the quota regime will, to some extent, have an impact on Macau's business community, something that we all need to be concerned about."

   Mr Marinho de Bastos said that Macau's domestic products continued to enjoy a good reputation on the international markets. He also said that Macau's garment manufacturers should maintain their products at upper or top-quality standards, and that they should also keep close contact with buyers in Europe, following the abolition of the textile quota system, in order to upgrade their competitive advantages and be ready to be ready for any post-quota challenges.

   In order to enhance further business opportunities, the European Union has indicated the possibility of tariff reductions next year. Mr Marinho de Bastos suggested that Macau's business community and respective government departments should set up a co-ordination committee, mainly for trade negotiations with business partners and trade officials in the European Union. The committee could also conduct research into the regulations of the World Trade Organisation to mitigate any possible negative impact to a minimum."


    The Voluntary Arbitration Center of the Macau World Trade Center held the first intensive training course on May 23-24, 2003. About two dozen participants representing different professions, such as accountants, architects, bankers, engineers, insurance experts and lawyers, took part in the crash course.

   The participants were provided with the opportunity to raise and discuss relevant issues, as well as to express their ideas and viewpoints on the different aspects and means of conducting mediation and arbitration procedures.

   The course was the first ever of its kind held in the Macau Special Administrative Region. It was co-organised by Hong kong's Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Voluntary Arbitration Center of the Macau World Trade Center. The participants' overall reaction to the course was very positive.



    TradeCard is a financial supply chain service provider. TradeCard’s secure transaction infrastructure greatly reduces the inefficiencies and uncertainties found in traditional domestic and cross-border trade transaction processes. By streamlining and enhancing the steps necessary for purchase order approvals, payment decisions and settlement, TradeCard provides a cost-effective, practical and patented service for both major corporates and SMEs involved in domestic and international trade.

   In 1994, the World Trade Centers Association conceived TradeCard, and TradeCard was formally established as an independent company in 1997. In November 1999, TradeCard began transaction services while the commercial launch occurred in April 2000. In March 2001, TradeCard launched its Financial Supply Chain platform to automate and improve the working capital and process efficiencies found in the order management, fulfillment and settlement process. In April 2002, TradeCard offered its Financial Supply Chain platform as a hosted "White Label" solution with a customized user interface, transaction options and pricing.

   On 27 June 2003 WTC Macau, in co-operation with TradeCard Inc., organized a TradeCard® Introductory Session to all banks in Macau. WTC Macau President Alberto Marçal kicked off the session with a brief introduction of the main speaker Mr Carl Wegner Vice-President, Business Development who purposely flew in from Taipei, and his colleague Mr Robert Lin Vice-President, Business Development based in Hong Kong.

   The event was attended by representatives from eight major banks who were given a detailed presentation on this latest innovative solution, with a main focused on the utilization of the system in the banking field. To date, 16 banking institutions are TradeCard service providers, and companies currently using TradeCard to manage and process their procurement transactions include those in the apparel and footwear, electronics and automotive, housewares and other finished goods, toys and retail industries.

    For more information about TradeCard and its users, please visit their official site at .


   The World Trade Center Macau (WTCM) and the Macau Investment and Trade Promotion Institute (IPIM) signed in May a co-operation agreement to strengthen services to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

   The agreement, which was signed by WTCM President Alberto Marcal and IPIM President Lee Peng Hong, provides for the launch of a string of new co-operation projects and the facilitation of comprehensive trade-related data to SMEs. The agreement will also create new mechanisms to assist SMEs in opening up new markets.

   The two signatories also agreed to pool resources and networks to streamline their SME support services. The WTCM will, among other things, provide Macau's SMEs with detailed and up-to-date information on export markets and trade and investment laws overseas.

   The signing ceremony was witnessed by top representatives of the two sides, namely WTCM Executive Director Vitor Ng and Joe Tang, and IPIM Executive Director Lourenco Cheong.


World Trade Center Macau,S.A.R.L.
Av. da Amizade, No.918
World Trade Center Building, 16th Floor, MACAU
Tel : (853) 727666   Fax : (853) 727633

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