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WTCM GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2004

    General Assembly, Mr Stanley Ho Hung Sun, the 21st General Assembly of the WTC Macau was held on April 15, 2004. The meeting concluded that, based on a general review of developments in 2003, the WTC Macau has been able to further achieve encouraging business results, in spite of increased competition and the adverse business environment caused by the outbreak of SARS outside Macau during the first half of 2003.

    It is believed that 2004 will be another year of strong economic growth of the Macau SAR as a result of the continuous inflow of visitors from Mainland China, the implementation of CEPA, the consolidation of structural economic reforms and the Macau Government's policy of economic development.

    Taking advantage of the momentun of Macau's economy, the WTC Macau will continue to commit itself to achieving a more solid and sound financial sityation and try its best to capitalise on business opportunities and to improve its performance.

WTCM HOLDS SYMPOSIUM ON MACAU-MAINLAND CLOSER ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP ARRANGEMENT (CEPA)

    With the aim of strengthening joint economic prosperity and development between Mainland China and Macau, the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) signed a Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) on October 17, 2003, after several rounds of bilateral consultations on the matter. The Macau-Mainland Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement became effective on the same day as its Hong Kong-Mainland counterpart, January 1, 2004.

    In order to familiarise Macau's business community with the content of the free-trade arrangement, the World Trade Center Macau held a symposium on CEPA on October 24, 2003. The symposium's special guest, Mr Francis Tam Pak Yuen, Secretary for Economy and Finance of the MSAR Government, highlighted the need for closer economic and trade ties with the Mainland to further develop Macau's importance as a business platform in the Pearl River Delta.

    More than two hundred invited guests attended the symposium, including the president and members of the WTC Macau Board of Directors and members of the WTC Macau Executive Committee.

    The participants were very much interested in the subject of CEPA. With regard to every question raised by the participants, Mr Francis Tam gave pertinent replies by focusing in detail on the different aspects of CEPA and its six annexes. Mr Tam emphasised that CEPA would certainly create new opportunities for Macau's economic development, pointing out that while Macau had in the past mainly been focused on the export markets of the European Union and the United States, the implementation of CEPA would further open up the huge consumer, services, manufacturing and investment market of the Chinese Mainland.

    Mr Tam also said that CEPA would gradually improve the manufacturing levels and business operations of Macau-based enterprises and the new situation created by CEPA would not only speed up the development of Macau's manufacturing, trade and services sectors but also attract external investors looking for new business opportunities.

WTC MACAU AND E-COMMERCE ASSOCIATION OF MACAU CO-ORGANISE FACT-FINDING MISSION TO ZHUHAI FREE TRADE ZONE

    The World Trade Center Macau (WTCM) and the E-Commerce Association of Macau (ECAM) co-organised a fact-finding mission to Zhuhai City, including its Free Trade Zone (FTZ), on April 16, 2004. Apart from touring the Zhuhai Free Trade Zone, the delegation also visited two enterprises, the Nam Kwong Logistics (Zhuhai) Free Trade Zone Company and MTU Maintenance Zhuhai. The mission also visited the site of the future Zhuhai-Macau Cross-Border Industrial Park. The fact-finding mission was meant to familiarise Macau businesspeople with market developments on the Chinese Mainland.

    Mr Peter Lam, Chairman of the WTCM Board of Directors, said that the fact-finding mission tour had opened up new opportunities for Macau's business community. As Macau and Zhuhai are geographically very close to each other, Macau businesspeople are able to create a "platform" that links Mainland China with overseas markets through this unique advantage.

    Mr Ouyang Dehong, Vice-Director of the Zhuhai FTZ, told the delegation members in a special briefing that investors were welcome to set up their enterprises in the Zhuhai FTZ, namely those involved in bonded warehouse services, logistics and distribution services, export processing, international trade and transit-trade commodity exhibitions, with a minimum investment capital of one million RMB.

    Mr Chen Honghui, Deputy Mayor of Zhuhai Municipal People's Government, stressed during the lunch that co-operation in the future Zhuhai-Macau Cross-Border Industrial Park was meant to further promote Macau's advantageous position as a separate customs territory. Moreover, Zhuhai's human resources and technology would play an important role in the manufacturing and service industries.

    After lunch, the delegation also visited the Southern Software Park, Zhuhai Scientific Innovation Coast and the University Town of Zhuhai City.

ARRITRATION IS AN EFFECTIVE, FAIR AND INEXPENSIVE WAY TO SOLVING DISPUTES

   Although all over the world arbitration has for a long time functioned as a customary and alternative form of resolving commercial disputes, Macau has, at least in the past, seen very few cases resolved through non-judicial arbitration. In fact, arbitration has shown to be highly effective in resolving commercial disputes. That's why there is a generally recognised need for a designated arbitration center to offer logistic, administrative and legal support.

   In the region, namely on the Chinese Mainland and in Hong Kong, arbitration and mediation are nowadays well-established forms of resolving commercial disputes, particularly in the areas of construction and internationaltrade.

   In close co-operation with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (East Asia Branch), the Voluntary Arbitration Center of the WTC Macau held a tailor-made course for Macau's arbitrators on December 1-2, 2003. The main objective of the course was to provide its participants with the latest tools and modern techniques of alternative dispute resolution, namely international commercial cases.

   A total of 17 participants took part in the workshop, which included group discussions and a series of interactive discussions, where all participants had the opportunity to express views on issue arising in actual arbitration procedures.

  The Voluntary Arbitration Center of the Macau WTC offers businesspeople a quick, confidential and inexpensive mechanism of resolving disputes in a fair and effective manner.


     

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

E-mail : wtcmc@macau.ctm.net