Following the promulgation of various policies and measures including the Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta (2008-2020), Overall Development Plan of Hengqin and the Framework Agreement on Guangdong-Macao Co-operation, the Hengqin new district neighbouring Macao has become a new conveyor of closer collaboration between Guangdong and Macao.
In mid-July 2011, the State Council officially approved policies related to the development of Hengqin. A series of innovative systems and incentive measures including taxation relief, “line management” at border control points and facilitation of Macao resident’ s immigration and customs clearance were in place, to equip Hengqin with more advantageous factors and conditions to attract external enterprises to become involved in the development, and contribute to the development of Macao’s appropriate economic diversification.
According to the Framework Agreement on Guangdong-Macao Co-operation, Guangdong province and Macao join forces to build a Guangdong-Macao Co- operation Industrial Park. The Park will cover an area of five square kilometres with development focusing on the traditional Chinese medicine, cultural and creative, education and training industries. To facilitate such work, the Assessment Committee for the Macao Projects for Hengqin Development has been set up to evaluate and recommend projects for the park. Investors interested in setting up in the Guangdong- Macao Co-operation Industrial Park may submit an investment proposal and other relevant information to Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.
We sincerely welcome Macao enterprises to take part in the Hengqin development and further utilise Macao’s strengths as a World Tourism and Leisure Center as well as a trade and business co-operation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, and seize the new business opportunities in Hengqin new district.
Strengths in Hengqin Policies
According to the Approval Given by the State Council on Related Policies Regarding the Development of Hengqin, it has explicitly designated Hengqin specific preferential policies including “innovative immigration and customs clearance systems and measures” , “special taxation relief” and “support to the development of Guangdong-Macao Co-operation Industrial Park”, to facilitate the flow of passengers, goods and factors of production between Macao and Hengqin.
Innovative immigration and customs facilities to implement “line management” at the border control point: management is based on the principle of categorisation so that passengers and freight are handled separately, immigration and customs control at the first boundary are less restrained while the second boundary is more strictly controlled.
The major measure is that the border control point between Hengqin and Macao will have first-line control, while second-line control will be in place between Hengqin and inland areas. While immigration and customs clearance for passengers between Hengqin and Macao will be handled according to the current system, the authority will further explore immigration and customs clearance measures to further facilitate Macao residents entering and leaving Hengqin.
Tax relief for imports and exports of manufacturing-related goods: records management of all Hengqin incoming and outgoing goods with tax exemption or bonded goods arrangement, Mainland manufacturing-related goods marketed to Hengqin will be treated as exports and tax rebate will be given according to the regulations.
Exemption of value-added tax and consumption tax for trade in goods between Hengqin enterprises: local trade and business sectors are more concerned about the arrangement for value-added tax and consumption tax, the relevant tax incentives are believed to play a certain role in encouraging enterprises to initiate investment projects.
Incentives for Profit tax of enterprises and Income Tax for Hong Kong and Macao residents: based on the foundation of the Directory of Industry Access and Preferential Treatment prepared by the relevant national authorities, a 15% rate on enterprise profit tax will be given to eligible enterprises in Hengqin. For Hong Kong and Macao residents working in Hengqin, the provincial government of Guangdong province will temporarily provide subsidies to them according to the difference between the income tax on the Mainland and in Hong Kong/Macao.
Plans for industries to provide development direction for Macao business and industrial sectors: commercial and leisure consumption facilities and commercial retail business will be set up in Hengqin. Areas of development include leisure, tourism, business service, financial service, cultural and creative industry, Chinese medicine and health care, scientific and education research and development as well as high technology industry.
Support the development of the Guangdong-Macao Co-operation Industrial Park: the support covers various aspects and it is believed that the series of measures will provide vital support for the development of the industrial park.
Advantageous Location of the Hengqin District
Hengqin, Zhuhai is advantageously located on the west bank of the Pearl River estuary. It covers an area of 106 square kilometres, neighbouring Hong Kong and Macao. The Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta (2008-2020) states that, under the principle of “one country, two systems”, Hengqin is identified as a pilot scheme to explore the new model of co-operation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, a pioneer zone for enhancing reform, opening-up and innovative technology, as well as a new platform to promote the upgrade of industries on the west bank of the Pearl River estuary.
The Greater Pearl River Delta of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, possesses well established industries, good quality and abundant human resources, vibrant market capacity, with the largest and most open economies on the Mainland. It is an emerging metropolitan area growing to have the strongest core competence worldwide.
Hengqin is connected to Macao by a bridge will and accessible to Hong Kong on the completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to the north which is directly linked to the Taiao Highway, Gaungzhou-Zhuhai West Line and the highway network of the Pearl River Delta. The total length of the road system is 2,116 kilometres, forming a convenient and efficient land transportation system.
Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Mass Rapid Transit will extend to Hengqin port and link with Macao’s, light rail system, together with the two under sea tunnels connecting Macao under planning, which will result in closer transportation links between Macao and Hengqin.
Planning of Guangdong-Macao Co-operation Industrial Park
According to Chapter 2 Section 3 of the Framework Agreement on Guangdong-Macao Co-operation, a Guangdong-Macao Co-operation Industrial Park will be jointly set up in the Hengqin with various functional zones on cultural and creative, scientific research, development and high technology covering an area of 5 square kilometres. The Macao SAR government will co-ordinate local business and commercial sectors to participate in the construction of the industrial park, with development focused on traditional Chinese medicine, cultural and creative, education and training industries. It will encourage Macao residents to work in the area to promote Macao’s moderate economic diversification.