Competitiveness needed to face Hengqin’s challenges

THE huge Hengqin Island project could be the answer to the constant vows for the region’s economic diversification, but local entrepreneurs must play an active role if they wish to “catch the bus”, avoiding being dangerously overtaken by their Hong Kong and Guangzhou neighbors. Needless to say, the project is of paramount importance to all the region and could serve as a way to channel part of the large incomes generated by local casinos and the related tourism.
The Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam is well aware of that. In the 2013 Policy Address he said the Hengqin new development zone will play a supplementary role to Macau by accommodating as many as 10 million visitors out of the 40 million expected in the region. In parallel he added that Nansha port (not located in Hengqin) will be the new port for the cruises packed with tourists headed for Macau. 
Maybe some locals are still unaware of what’s being built so near us. Although the construction works are already visible from Macau, most residents so far have never visited the barren and mountainous island. Besides some historians’ claims that the island was part of Macau territory, the only interest a visit could ever hold was to see how Macau looked from the other side, or to eat in the rustic oyster shacks.
That is changing fast.  Located at the heart of the Pearl River Delta, Hengqin - an island that’s roughly three times the size of Macau - is being transformed into a metropolis whose dimensions greatly surpass the new Macau University campus that will fall under the MSAR’s jurisdiction. The plans include areas focused on the creative industries and science and research, as well as leisure spaces (such as theme parks and an oceanarium) and residences. In the financial business district, a high-rise much taller than the Macau Tower will be built.
This project is certain to attract businessmen from mainland China, Hong Kong and abroad. But what’s Macau’s participation in it? The first signs show a lack of dynamics and even coordination between Macau and entities with management responsibilities in Hengqin, like the Zhuhai Land and House Property Exchange Centre. On Tuesday, the center announced the auction of a 30,000 square meter-plus plot east of the Hengqin Border Terminal. The parcel will be leased for 40 years for commercial use and the bid is only open to Macau companies or to subsidiaries in mainland China wholly owned by Macau companies.
Following this announcement, the newspaper Hoje Macau contacted the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) and the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation Between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries in order to find out more details about the auction. Both entities said they were not aware of it and an unnamed IPIM advisor was quoted saying that “it was expected that the Zhuhai authorities should have contacted the Macau authorities” before they made the announcement. Later that day IPIM, who advises businessmen on investment prospects, gave a more formal and politically correct answer, saying that it maintains “close contacts with the Hengqin New Area Committee” and that a catalog with investment opportunities with preferred access to Macau would be published shortly.
Let’s hope that the coordination between Macau and Hengqin is being effectively carried out. The architect Carlos Marreiros, who has visited the island many times to get a grip on its development, told the Times in a recently-published interview that it seems to him, “there isn’t a sense of competitiveness to face others” amongst the local businessmen. “Hengqin enjoys a relevant geopolitical positioning. Hong Kong has expanded to nearby Tongkou. Nansha is a bit farther but it’s an area in demand… So, will Macau’s future be in these areas? Partly yes, but Macau needs to have guts and talent, and we are delaying too much,” he added.
(in MDT)


É diminuitivo

Carlos Queirós



Forget handouts, Macau needs social spending and diversification

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CONHEÇO muito bem a nova redacção do Público. Foi a redacção do extinto e pioneiro Terràvista (onde trabalhei em 2000/2001), situada num piso amplo, partilhado com a Jazztel. Está igual, tirando o mobiiário. Era só a melhor redacção de Lisboa, com vista para uma das marinas de Alcântara! Até serviço de catering tínhamos! Eram outros tempos, quando a Internet estava a aparecer enquanto "modo de vida"... Os resistentes do Público ficam, portanto, bem instalados. Mas já o estavam. As instalações da Rua do Viriato eram modernas e funcionais e tinham a vantagem de ficarem no centro da cidade. Ganha-se em vista e amplitude, perde-se em centralidade.



CATALUNHA vista por fora... Duvido que o surgimento de micro-Estados na Península Ibérica (a Catalunha, o País Basco e, já agora, a Galiza) seja favorável para alguém, excluíndo para os líderes que pretendem dominar esses estados (que se encheriam de prebendas e regalias). Mas o certo é que estamos a assistir à possibilidade de dissolvência do Estado espanhol.


“I knew this was my last chance. We couldn’t fail”

F3 MACAU António Félix da Costa has added his name to the illustrious list of Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix winners, thanks to a consistent drive on the tricky Guia street circuit yesterday. The Portuguese young gun, fresh from testing for the Formula 1 team Red Bull Racing in Abu Dhabi, started the 15-lap Grand Prix from pole position. However, just like in Saturday’s Qualifying Race, he found himself trailing Felix Rosenqvist on the run down to the Lisboa on the first lap. But a perfectly executed move into the right-hander saw the Carlin-Dallara straight back into the lead, and once there, da Costa was able to control the race with a burst of speed following a mid-race restart setting him up for a historic win. The Portuguese driver achieved his long sought after goal to win in Macau and told reporters at the end of the race that the victory brings him closer to his Formula 1 dream.

- How do you feel after this historic victory?                     
- These two guys [Rosenqvist and Lynn] did an unbelievable race. I think the three of us did every lap on the limit. I need to thank my team, Carlin-Volkswagen, that put this amazing package together. And to Red-Bull, that picked me up at half of the season. It’s been an unbelievable ride. There’s so many good names on this list [of MGP winners] and now mine is there too. During the race there was a fight between all of us, but I think that we were always fair.

- How did you react when the wrong national anthem was played to salute your triumph?
- To win here with all this Portuguese entourage, it’s incredible.  The hymn detail [At the podium, the national anthem initially played was not the Portuguese one, and the ceremony was extended for a long time until the right one was played. Meanwhile, the Portuguese national anthem was sung with lung-bursting enthusiasm by the crowd, which led Félix da Costa to tears] was very sad, but it caused a beautiful moment, with all the Portuguese that were there singing the anthem. It was very moving and I want to thank the support given by all the Portuguese [supporters] that were here during this weekend.

- At the beginning of the race, going into the Lisboa bend, you were close to losing first place to Rosenqvist. But from there on you seemed to be controlling the event…
- It’s a very tough race, fifteen laps on the limit, always racing very close to the walls. The slightest mistake and things can go wrong. I was very close to the walls in some occasions, but always managed to keep a safe distance, preventing others from catching my slipstream and overtaking.

- Where will you race next season?
- I’m in Red Bull team hands. I’m not going to stay in GP3. The jump ahead will be made, probably to the World Series by Renault 3.5. I would also like to put my step on F1, as I already did this year. That would be perfect.

- Do you plan to return to Macau?
- I always said that this would be my last year here [as a F3 racer]. Leaping forward it doesn’t make sense to return to F3. I want it to take a few years before I come here and race on GTs. That would mean that F1 was behind me. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will return here for a long time, at least not to race. I knew this was my last chance. We couldn’t fail. Together with the team, without mechanical flaws, we managed to get this victory for Portugal.

- Macau has been in the Portuguese headlines because of Luís Carreira’s death. Your victory can be considered a positive conclusion to a GP marked by tragedy…
- I frankly tell you that the way the news is made in Portugal is sad. Small news makes the headlines and a rider needs to die to make the TV news, or to have a report about the Macau Grand Prix, or about racing. This weekend was very dark and depressing. We lost Portuguese rider Luís Carreira. I am sympathetic towards that, and it was hard for me. This victory is also for him and to all the Portuguese [fans] that were here during the weekend.

- How will you celebrate this triumph?
- I will not rest. On Tuesday when I’m back in England I will have a F1 test day with Red Bull. Than I will go to Spain, where I have one day of training in the World Series. I will not stop.

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Enguias fritas cozinhadas em restaurante especializado nos Armazéns de Lavos

O meu amigo Ricardo Felner gostou de uma foto que tirei nas enguias de Lavos e convidou-me para botar faladura no seu blogue ("http://ohomemquecomiatudo.wordpress.com), que é um grande blogue


Four more years

Em Macau: Em Lisboa:
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