Foreign relations of Macau

As a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Macau's diplomatic relations and defence are the responsibility of the Central People's Government of the PRC. Except diplomatic relations and defence, nonetheless, Macau has retained considerable autonomy in all aspects, including economic and commercial relations, customs control.

According to Chapter VII of Macau's basic law, Macau may, on its own, using the name Macau, China or Macao, China, maintain and develop relations and conclude and implement agreements with foreign states and regions and relevant international organisations in the appropriate fields, including the economic, trade, financial and monetary, shipping, communications, tourism, cultural, science and technology, and sports fields. In addition, Macau can participate in international organizations and conferences not limited to states.

The Macau government has maintained Macau Economic and Trade Representative Offices in Lisbon, Portugal and Brussels, Belgium.

Delegations outside Macau

  Countries hosting an office
  European Union, members not hosting an individual office

Macau SAR maintains the following delegations:[1]

International organization participation

International Hydrographic Organization

International Monetary Fund

International Maritime Organization (associate)

International Organization for Standardization (correspondent)

UNESCO (associate)

Universal Postal Union



World Tourism Organization (associate)

World Trade Organization


United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (associate),

Interpol (subbureau)

Forum for Economic & Trade Cooperation between China and Lusophone Countries

Founded in 1999, the Macau SAR government was determined, with the great supports from the Central Government, to host the "Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries" in October 2003. Serving as a platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, Macau takes it as an important mission to enhance the friendship and cooperation between the both parties.

Relationship with Lusophone countries

Given the language, culture and intimate relationships, Macau has been communicating with the Portuguese-speaking countries through various channels for a long time. This can be reflected in the International Commercial Conference for Portuguese-speaking countries , which is held in Macau annually. Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) has a lot of co-operation protocols with the relevant organizations and commercial associations in Brazil and Mozambique. The organizations include the Portuguese Commercial Association in Macau, Portuguese Business Centre in Asia, Forum dos Empresarios de Lingua Portuguesa, Câmara de Comércio e Industria Luso-Chinesa, Portuguese Business Association and Portuguese Trade Commission.

In order to strengthen the economic co-operation and development between Chinese and Portuguese speaking countries and improve the international status of Macau SAR, the first "Economic Co-operation Forum between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries" was held by the Central Government of the People's Republic of China with the Macau SAR Government being the event coordinator. It is mainly for the economic co-operation and development of the both sides and is non-political. The "Economic Co-operation Forum between Chinese and Portuguese-speaking Countries" will be held every three years and the first was in Macau in October 2003.

Lusofonia Games 2006

The Association of the Portuguese Speaking Olympic Committees (ACOLOP) was established on 8 June 2004 in Lisbon with the aim to reinforce unity and cooperation of its members, which was already approved by the National Olympic Committees (NOCs).

Macau was honored and proud to host the 1st Lusofonia Games (7–15 October 2006) in the capacity as a founding member. The Lusofonia Games are a good opportunity to show the historical relations between Macau and Lusophone countries. They not only reinforce friendship between the other member countries, but strengthen Macau's developing sport tourism industry.

National Olympic Committee's (NOC's) Participants:



Cape Verde


India (Associate member)




East Timor

Sri Lanka (Associate member)

São Tomé and Príncipe

Equatorial Guinea (Associate member)

The EU and Macau

EU-Macau relations are based on a Trade and Co-operation Agreement concluded on 14 December 1992, which came into effect on 1 January 1993. This agreement covers trade and industrial, scientific and technical co-operation. A Joint Committee meets annually to oversee the operation of the Agreement and devises ways of developing trade and co-operation. The agreement remained in force as usual after 20 December 1999.

The Commission's 1998 Communication "Building a Comprehensive Partnership with China" stated that EU policy was to support Macau's high degree of autonomy. This policy stems naturally from the EU's strong economic links and historical ties with Macau.

On 12 November 1999 the Commission adopted a Communication to the Council and the European Parliament, entitled "The EU and Macau: Beyond 2000" . In this communication the EU considers that the respect for the principles set out in the basic law of Macau and the full implementation of the concept "one country, two systems" guarantee the specific social, economic and cultural identity of Macau. The Commission committed itself to monitor the situation in the territory by issuing annual reports.

The Macau SAR has an Economic and Trade Office (METO) accredited to the European Union, which ensures a regular dialogue between the EU and Macau on areas under the new SAR's responsibility, such as trade, economic relations and co-operation.

On 15 March 2001 the Council of the European Union adopted a new visa regulation and the EU granted visa-free access to Macau SAR passport-holders as from 10 April 2001.

An EC-Macau re-admission agreement was finalized and initialled on the occasion of the 9th EC-Macau Joint Committee in Brussels, Belgium on 18 October 2002. It was signed on 13 October 2003 in Luxembourg by Commissioner Chris Patten and the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Franco Frattini on behalf of the EC, and by Florinda Chan, Secretary for Administration and Justice, on behalf of Macau. The EU-Macau Cooperation in the Legal Field Project was inaugurated on 3 December 2002, featuring a series of seminars and training programmes to be executed for a period of 48 months for judges, procurators, government lawyers and other legal practitioners of the Macau SAR.

Given its status as a separate customs territory as stated in the basic law, Macau continues to be treated by the EU as a separate entity for trade policy purposes. The EU was Macau's third largest trading partner and absorbed about 23% of its total exports, while 12% of Macau's imports came from the EU in 2003 (Macau trade statistics). Total bilateral trade between the EU and Macau reached €1 billion in 2002. Macau's trade surplus with the EU was €382 million (Eurostat). The EU was the third biggest investor in Macau after Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China with 25 firms investing in the SAR in 2001. Total investment stock amounted to over €400 million. Macau's membership in the World Trade Organization and liberal economic system offer favourable conditions for EU investments.

Korea relations with Macau

A Korean freighter ‘ZEUS’ was found capsized by Typhoon ‘Hagupit‘ 57 kilometers southwest of the Chinese territory of Macau on September 24. The wrecked ship was discovered by the Chinese rescue ship at 16:10 and all 17 crewmen (8 Koreans, 8 Myanmarese, 1 Indonesian) were reported missing The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade asked the Chinese authorities to actively engage in the search for missing sailors via the Korean Embassy in Beijing and other consulates in China. Chinese ships and airplanes are currently conducting rescue operations in the accident area.[3]

US relations with Macau

In recognition of Macau's high degree of autonomy, the United States continues to treat Macau as a special area distinct from the People's Republic of China: e. g., the sanctions imposed on China after the June 1989 violence in Tiananmen Square do not apply to Macau. For the DV-Lottery, those who were born in Mainland China are not eligible to apply, whereas persons born in Macau are qualified.

The U.S. government supports Macau's autonomy by strengthening bilateral ties through the promotion of bilateral trade and investment, law enforcement cooperation, academic and cultural links, and high-level dialogue and visits.

After the September 11 attacks, Macau officials pledged full cooperation with U.S. and global efforts against terrorism. Macau's legislature passed an anti-terrorism law in April 2002 that includes provisions that are consistent with the requirements of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373.

Macau's clothes and textiles continued to enter the United States under quotas separate from those of China. Under the terms of a September 2000 bilateral Memorandum of Understanding, Macau and the US government cooperate in enforcing textile quotas and preventing illegal trans-shipment. The US continued periodic visits by U.S. Customs Textile Production Verification Teams to ensure compliance with Macau bilateral textile commitments.

The protection of intellectual property rights remains a priority issue on the U.S.-Macau bilateral economic agenda. Macau progress since 1999 in strengthening IPR laws, tightening controls over DVD and VCD manufacturing, and stepping up street-level IPR enforcement resulted in Macau being removed from USTR's Special 301 list in 2002. Macau's new customs service worked with U.S. industry associations and maintained high tempo operations to combat piracy .

U.S. investment in Macau, while small in the past, is expected to increase in coming years as the result of the 2002 awarding of two gaming concessions to consortia with U.S. interests. Though trade with Macau represents a small portion of U.S. trade, the United States was Macau's second largest trading partner after the People's Republic of China. U.S. exports to and imports from Macau in 2002 were USD $79 million and USD $1.2 billion, respectively. After the Macau government ended the 40-year-old gaming monopoly of the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau (STDM) in February 2002, the government awarded concessions to three consortia, including two with significant U.S. investment. The restructuring of the gaming industry remains the centerpiece of Macau - efforts to improve its international reputation and become a Las Vegas-like gaming, convention, and family-oriented holiday destination. The possible new investment of USD $1.5-2.5 billion in the medium term will increase jobs and income and dramatically raise the U.S. business profile in Macau.

Sister cities

See also


External links

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