|Special Administrative Region of China|
Marcha dos Voluntários
|Status||Special Administrative Region|
|- From 2009||Fernando Chui Sai On|
|- December 20, 1999||Transfer of sovereignty to China|
|- Total||US$ 32.3 billion|
|- Per capita||US$ 59,451|
Macau is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.
Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was the first European settlement in the Far East. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and Portugal on 13 April 1987, Macau became the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China on 20 December 1999. In this agreement, China promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system would not be practiced in Macau, and that Macau would enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.
Macau's economy slowed dramatically in 2009 as a result of the global economic slowdown, but strong growth resumed in 2010, largely on the back of strong tourism and gaming sectors. After opening up its locally-controlled casino industry to foreign competition in 2001, the territory attracted tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment, transforming Macau into one of the world's largest gaming center. Macau's gaming and tourism businesses were fueled by China's decision to relax travel restrictions on Chinese citizens wishing to visit Macau. By 2006, Macau's gaming revenue surpassed that of the Las Vegas strip, and gaming-related taxes accounted for more than 70% of total government revenue. In 2008, Macau introduced measures to cool the rapidly developing sector. This city of nearly 570,000 hosted more than 21 million visitors in 2009. Almost 51% came from mainland China. Macau's traditional manufacturing industry has virtually disappeared since the termination of the Multi-Fiber Agreement in 2005. In 2009, total exports were less than US$1 billion, while gaming receipts were almost US$15 billion. By October 2010, gross gaming revenue had already reached US$19 billion for the year. The Macau government plans to tighten control over the opening of new casinos and strengthen supervision of local casino operations in 2011 and has introduced measures to diversify the economy. The Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Macau and mainland China that came into effect on 1 January 2004 offers Macau-made products tariff-free access to the mainland; nevertheless, China remains Macau's third largest goods export market, behind Hong Kong and the United States. Macau's currency, the Pataca, is closely tied to the Hong Kong dollar, which is also freely accepted in the territory.
- Fernando Chui Sai On (₩) (20 December 2009 - )
- China (SAR)