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   WTC Macau President Mr Alberto Marcal, attended the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) 35th General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 3-6, 2004.

Over 250 delegates of 184 World Trade Centers participated in the meeting, which concluded its work with renewed determination in servicing world trade. The main objective of the event was to provide a deeper understanding through experience exchanges between the World Trade Centers and business leaders. The event also enhanced international business operations and opportunities.

The special note at the General Assembly was the meeting with the Under-Secretary-General and Director General, Mr Sergei Ordzhokinidze, the United Nations Office at Geneva, where the President of the WTCA, Mr Guy Tozzoli, explained the mission and objectives of the association. At present, the WTCA has a total number of 284 sister centers in 77 countries and regions.


   In view of the phasing-out of the textile and apparel quota restrictions in 2005 and the increased concern and uncertainty of its aftermath, with the support of the Macao Foundation, the World Trade Center Macau held a seminar on "2005 Textile and Apparel Issues: A U.S. Perspective," on August 27, 2004. The guest speaker, Dr Peter Koenig, who works for Washington DC-based Miller & Chevalier Chartered, a law firm that includes former top officials from all the U.S. Government agencies involved in U.S. trade investigations, shared his views and knowledge on the topic, based on the U.S. viewpoint.

Mr Alberto Marcal, President of the WTC Macau, said in his opening remarks, "As textile and clothing are Macau's major exports that, according to official statistics, amounted to US $ 2.15 billion in 2003, or about 83 per cent of Macau's total export value worldwide and also responsible for 78 per cent of the total labour force employed by Macau's manufacturing sector, it is, therefore, far most important to know and evaluate the impact and consequences of the total elimination of the quota system."

Dr Peter Koenig stressed during the seminar, "Since Mainland China's market share of the U.S. market has been rising in recent years and considering the end of textile and apparel import quotas in 2005, the imposition of new safeguards to limit Chinese textile and apparel imports will be increasing. As to Macau, special outward processing arrangements (OPAs) are understood to allow some of the labor-intensive production steps to occur in China, but remain a product of Macau for trade purposes. These products made in Macau would not be subject to China-specific safeguards or other actions against Mainland China. Thus, Macau may continue to be a supplier of apparel under OPAs with China because of the uncertainty regarding trade restrictive actions against China itself."


  To mark the contribution to peace and stability of the World Trade Centers all over the globe, the World Trade Center Macau held a seminar on "How can Mediation Turn a Business Conflict into Opportunity?" on June 10, 2004, as a special celebration of the World Trade Centers Association Day.

  With regard to the seminar, the guest speakers, Mr Norris Yang, Chairman of Hong Kong Mediation Council (HKMC), Mr Roy Cheng, Chairman of Commercial Mediation Committee (HKMC), Ms Jody Sin, Vice-Chairlady of Commercial Mediation Committee (HKMC), and Ms Lilian Yue, Honorable Secretary of HKMC, shared their experience with the participants by analysing how to use mediation in commercial disputes, and concentrate our resources on business opportunities.

  Before commencing the seminar, Mr Alberto Marcal, President of WTC Macau, stated that in view of the rapid growth in trade and in economic development between Mainland China and Macau, and in order to further coordinate matters within the framework of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between the two regions, the China/Macau Conciliation Center established its office at the Zhuhai Conciliation Center in April 2004. In the meantime, the WTC Macau would further promote its conciliation center in the future, in order to allow the Macau businessmen to have a better knowledge of the characteristics of this specific dispute resolution process.

  Mr Norris Yang, Chairman of the Hong Kong Mediation Council, emphasized that the business community was adapting itself to mediation as a means for dispute resolution, slowly replacing the respective litigation and arbitration procedures, considering that mediation provided a voluntary, private and confidential, objective and structural mechanism, and with its own advantages of time efficiency, cost saving, flexible procedures, and its focus on settlement. Mr Yang also said that mediation created a harmonious environment since it helped to break any impasse, and it also encouraged most parties to reach an amicable settlement and rebuild commercial relationships. .

  Nowadays, mediation is widely accepted by the business sectors in the U.S., U.K. , New South Wales in Australia, and Ontario in Canada, and is commonly used by the banking and insurance industry. The success rate in the commercial sector is rather high since it reduces 75-80 per cent in litigation costs.

  The highlight of the seminar is a demonstration of an authentic case by role-playing, which attracted the participants' attention to a better understanding of mediation, and also showed how the neutral third party can assist in clearing up misunderstandings, to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement of their disputes.


On 17 September 2004, the World Trade Center Macau organised a fact-finding mission to Hong Kong. The delegation comprised WTC members and government officials, as well as representatives from business associations and shipping companies. The delegation visited two enterprises, the DHL Central Asia Hub and Tradelink Electronic Commerce Limited.

The fact-finding mission helped the delegation acquire a better knowledge of how DHL, one of the world's leading express and logistics infrastructure developments in Hong Kong, operates. At the same time, the tour provided the delegation with the opportunity to see how Tradelink Electronic Commerce Limited provides an electronic gateway to enhance the productivity and competitiveness in the commercial sector.


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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