Regional Co-operation

Macao is a separate customs territory. Over the years, Macao has been striving to deepen its business and trade connections with Mainland China, the European Union (EU), PSCs and Southeast Asia, among other regions, as well as participating in and contributing to the “Belt and Road” construction. Particularly, the city plays a unique and significant role as a hub to propel the implementation of the “dual circulation” strategy.

Economic Partnership with Mainland China

  • Mainland China is Macao’s largest trading partner. In 2020, the trade volume between Macao and the Mainland totalled MOP29.23 billion, accounting for 28.3% of Macao’s total external merchandise trade.
  • In 2019, the flow of inward direct investment from the Mainland to Macao amounted to MOP7.95 billion, while the flow of direct investment from Macao to the Mainland amounted to MOP4.07 billion.
  • The Mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) has been implemented since 2004 and has undergone several supplementary amendments to enrich the contents. At present, CEPA mainly covers four areas:
  1. Trade in goods: the CEPA Agreement on Trade in Goods was implemented in January 2019 and stipulates the rules of origin for over 8,000 taxable items, which allow goods of Macao origin (except for goods prohibited to be imported to the Mainland) in compliance with CEPA rules to be exported to the Mainland with a zero tariff. A dedicated mechanism has also been established to improve the rules regarding the place of origin.
  2. Trade in services: the Agreement Concerning Amendment to the CEPA Agreement on Trade in Services was implemented on 1 June 2020. As of May 2021, the Mainland has opened up 153 services trade sub-sectors to the Macao services industry, including legal, accounting, construction and real estate services, among others. The number of service sub-sectors that fully implement the national treatment measures for the Macao services industry increased to 69, which covers accounting, construction and design, engineering, equipment repair and maintenance, wholesale and transport services, among others.
  3. Investment: the CEPA Investment Agreement was implemented on 1 January 2018. It stipulates the application of the Negative List to Macao and only 26 non-conforming measures in the non-services investment sectors were reserved by the Mainland.
  4. Economic and technical co-operation: the CEPA Agreement on Economic and Technical Co-operation was implemented on 1 January 2018, covering 14 key areas of collaboration such as tourism, convention and exhibition, traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese medicinal products, finance, electronic commerce, environment, culture, innovation and technology, intellectual property, and trademark and branding
  • With the progressive implementation of the Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Co-operation Framework Agreement, Outline of the Plan for the Reform and Development of the Pearl River Delta, Guangdong-Macao Co-operation Framework Agreement, and Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Co-operation in the Development of the Greater Bay Area, the economic collaboration has been further intensified between Macao and the Mainland.
  • Macao has joined numerous regional co-operative mechanisms, including the Mainland-Macao Commission on Economic and Trade Co-operation and the Pan-Pearl River Delta regional Co-operation, as well as high-level meetings, joint conferences and task forces with Guangdong province, Fujian province, Beijing, Shanghai and Sichuan province. The government has also progressively commenced regional co-operation with Zhejiang, Jiangsu and other provinces and regions in the Mainland, thereby further integrating itself into the national development.


Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

  • As of 2020, the Greater Bay Area occupied a total area of around 56,000 square kilometres and had a population of more than 80 million; the GDP of the area was over RMB1.15 billion, making the area one of the regions that features strong economic vitality and a high degree of openness and internationalisation in China.
  • Following the decisions and arrangements of the Leading Group for Development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the SAR Government joined hands with the country’s relevant ministerial departments, Guangdong provincial government and municipal governments of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to bring their own strengths into full play and jointly facilitate the construction of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Co-operation Zone in Hengqin, as well as establishing a mechanism that allows collaborative planning, construction and management for Guangdong and Macao, in order to implement the Hengqin development plan more effectively through co-operation between Zhuhai and Macao and construct a quality living circle in the Greater Bay Area.
  • Being one of the four core cities in the Greater Bay Area, Macao has promoted the construction of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Corridor by making good use of its unique role as the Platform between China and PSCs and a core engine for regional development. Macao continues leveraging their comparative advantages in striving for excellence and achievements, in a bid to strengthen the radiating effect in leading the development of nearby regions.
  • Macao maintains close communication and co-operation with other cities of the Greater Bay Area. Under the Guangdong-Macao Co-operation Joint Conference System, Macao has established the Guangzhou-Macao Co-operation Task Force Meeting mechanism, Zhuhai-Macao Co-operation Meeting mechanism, Task Force for the Promotion of Zhongshan-Macao Co-operation mechanism, and Shenzhen-Macao Co-operation Conference mechanism in collaboration with Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Zhongshan and Shenzhen, respectively. The city has also established the Hong Kong-Macao Co-operation High Level Meeting mechanism and signed the Hong Kong and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (HK-Macao CEPA).


Economic Partnership with EU

  • Official relations between Macao and the EU were established in 1992 after the signing of the Agreement for Trade and Co-operation between the European Economic Community and Macao, which stipulates that the two parties may forge collaborations in areas such as industry, investment, science and technology, energy, information and training. Macao has been maintaining good trade and economic co-operation with the EU after the establishment of the Macao SAR.
  • The EU-Macao Joint Committee holds a meeting annually to review the implementation of the agreement as well as discussing future developments. A total of 23 meetings have been held as of 2019. Macao and the EU have also launched various co-operation projects, such as the establishment of the former Euro-Info Centre (now the Business Co-operation Centre of Enterprise Europe Network Central China Macao Office) in 1992 and the Institute of European Studies of Macau in the city in 1995.
  • The EU is the second largest trading partner of Macao. In 2020, the value of exports and imports between Macao and the EU amounted to over MOP28.7 billion, accounting for 27.8% of the total external merchandise trade of Macao of the year.
  • In 2019, the flow of inward direct investment from the EU to Macao amounted to MOP1.99 billion.
  • The SAR Government has opened three offices in Europe, namely the Macao Economic and Trade Office in Lisbon, Macao Economic and Trade Office to the European Union in Brussels, and Macao Economic and Trade Office to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva.


Economic Partnership with PSCs

  • Due to historical ties, Macao has forged close and extensive connections with PSCs for many years, which have between them a population of 260 million in total, and plays the role as the Commercial and Trade Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. The first Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries was initiated by the Central Government and convened in Macao in October 2003. The Permanent Secretariat and a training centre of the Forum have also been established in Macao. To date, the Forum has been held five times.
  • The China and Portuguese-speaking Countries Co-operation and Development Fund involves an investment totalling US$1 billion. The Macao headquarters for the Fund was established in June 2017 to provide enterprises from China and PSCs with assistance in developing collaboration regarding production capacity and infrastructure. As of the end of 2020, the Fund had forged investment projects in the sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure and finance in different countries and regions such as Angola, Brazil, Mozambique and Macao.
  • The SAR Government is constantly pushing forward the construction of a commercial and trade service centre for SMEs of China and PSCs, a food product distribution centre for PSCs, and a convention and exhibition centre for economic and trade co-operation between China and PSCs. Through a series of online and offline collaborations and interactions, the SAR Government strives to explore greater business opportunities for enterprises.
  • The Complex of Commerce and Trade Co-operation Platform for China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, which occupies an area of 14,200 square metres and has a gross floor area of around 50,000 square metres, features integrated functions covering commercial services, economic and trade negotiations, product display, cultural exhibitions and information exchange, thereby providing more convenient services to strengthen Macao’s role as the Platform.
  • In 2020, the trade volume of goods between Macao and PSCs totalled over MOP710 million, up 18.3% from 2015.

Portuguese-speaking Countries



Cape Verde




São Tome e Principe

East Timor