Macau, a former Portuguese colony, is located at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta and approximately 60 kilometersfrom Hong Kong across the sea. Macau is only 1/40th the size of Hong Kong, encompassing an area of 32.8km2. It is one of the two Special Administrative Regions (SAR) and the only city where gambling is legal in China. It is well-known for having large casinos and an international trading port. Portuguese remains an official language in Macau while the majority of the population speaks Cantonese, and English is widely used in trade, commerce and tourism.

Information presented on this page are introductory business intelligence on the respective region, and thus it cannot serve as a substitute for official information released by government agencies or similar institutions. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the information sources or speak to a Dezan Shira & Associates representative. 


  • Population: 556,783
  • Population density (urban): 18,568 persons/km2

Source: China 2013 Statistical Yearbook (uses 2012 statistics)


  • Primary industry (percentage of GDP): RMB 0 million (0 percent)
  • Secondary industry (percentage of GDP): RMB 26,400 million (6 percent)
  • Tertiary industry (percentage of GDP): RMB 414,540 million (94 percent)
  • Total: RMB 441,000 million
  • Total retail sales of consumer goods: RMB 14,427 million
  • Total value of imports and exports: US$7,360 million
  • Fixed investment: RMB 54463 million

Source: China 2013 Statistical Yearbook (uses 2012 statistics)


Macau consists of a peninsula and the two islands of Taipa and Coloane. Three bridges, Nobre de Carvalho Bridge, Friendship Bridge (Ponte da Amizade) and Sai Van Bridge, link the peninsula to Taipa. The two islands are linked by the six-lane 2.2 kilometer Taipa-Coloane Causeway. The Hong-Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge began construction at the end of 2009 and is due to be completed in 2015-2016. 


Macau is accessible by air from Taiwan, Beijing, Shanghai, Manila, Bangkok and Singapore among other destinations. All passengers using the modern Macau International Airport are subject to an airport tax and passenger tax.

Ports and waterways

There are regular ferries and helicopters from Hong Kong that are in service 24 hours a day. Ferries also connect with the Shekou port in Shenzhen. Macau is one of the country’s two free ports that allow goods, capital and foreign exchange to flow freely.

City Infrastructure

Macau has an efficient land, sea and air transport infrastructure. The development of information technology and transportation has made it into an integrated and value-added logistics industry. Getting around the city is easy because there are plenty of buses, taxis and what locals call mokes - brightly colored jeep-like convertibles. 


The Solid Waste Incineration Plant came into operation in 1992. It is one of the most advanced solid waste processing facilities in the region. Since the opening of three high-tech sewage treatment plants in 1995, Macau's wastewater has been effectively treated to reduce pollution. A fourth sewage treatment plant is under construction at the Macau International Airport site. 

As a free port with an independent tax zone, Macau does a large amount of trade. The city’s top trading partners are mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, the EU, Taiwan and the United States. In 2010, total exports were valued at US$870 million while imports were valued at US$5.5 billion, giving a total trade deficit of US$4.6 billion. 

The territory benefits from its free port status, ideal location, excellent telecommunication networks, a stable financial system and a competitive workforce. In addition, companies investing in the territory are qualified for many tax exemptions. Macau can serve as an intermediary to setting up regional business hubs in the territory and gaining access to the Chinese market. The local government is commited to improving its legal framework and developing its offshore business. There are tax exemptions for offshore businesses such as exemptions from income tax, industrial tax and stamp duties.

Macau is widely known as the Orient’s Las Vegas. In fact, Macau has overtaken Las Vegas as the world’s largest casino economy and some sources suggest that Macau did this as early as 2006. The city generated record gross receipts of US$11 billion in the first half of 2011, up 66.9 percent year-on-year. 25 million visitors visited Macau in 2010, an increase of 14.8 percent year-on-year, with the vast majority visiting the SAR to gamble. 

For 39 years, the gambling industry was controlled by the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau, but this changed in 2001 when casino licenses were offered to other casino operators. Now, major international casino operators like Wynn Resorts Ltd. and MGM Mirage Inc. have come to the island to build huge casinos and claim their stake of the gambling boom.

Zhuhai-Macao Cross Border Industrial Zone

The State Council approved the establishment of the Zhuhai-Macao Cross-Border Industrial Zone on 5 December 2003. The zone is located between Maoshengwei in the southwest corner of Gongbei, and Qingzhou (Ilha Verde) in northwest Macau. As the zone has a narrow waterway running through the middle of the two areas a bridge will connect them. The zone is about 0.4 square kilometres in size, of which 0.29 square kilometers will be on the Zhuhai side and 0.11 square kilometers in Macau.

The zone demonstrates the economic advantages and business opportunities that are available under the “One Country, Two Systems” policy and the “Mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement”. The zone focuses on manufacturing industries and auxiliary services such as logistics, transit-trade, conferences and exhibitions.

The zone is jointly administered, meaning that the Zhuhai park is managed by the Zhuhai Municipal Government and the Macau park by the relevant governmental departments of the Macao SAR.

The zone is located on major shipping lanes that are close to Macao Port and 45 kilometers from Zhuhai Gaolan Port, which is ideal for connecting overseas markets and inland locations. It is located only a 15-minute drive from Macau airport and just 30 kilometers from Zhuhai Airport.

  • AmCham Macau
    澳門宋玉生廣場263號中土大廈20樓 Alameda Dr. Carlos d’ Assumpção No 263 Edif. China Civil Plaza, 20 Andar Macau SAR
    Tel: (853) 2857.5059
  • German Macau Business Association
    Alameda Dr. Carlos d'Assumpção, No. 263 China Civil Plaza, 20th Floor Macau
    Tel: 2836 8802
  • ICC Macao (International Chamber of Commerce)
    175 Rua de Xangai, Edif. ACM, 5/fl Macao
    Tel: +853 2858 4499
    Fax: +853 2830 2667