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Official: Macao's Economic Recovery Accelerated
Macao's economic recovery was expedited in 2002, with the growth rate estimated at above 5 percent, according to Francis Tam Pak Yuen, secretary for economy and finance, here Thursday.

This will be a positive increase in the third straight year after Macao returned to the motherland at the end of 1999, the official said at a symposium held by the Macao Chamber of Commerce.

The Special Administrative Region reported economic expansion rates of 4.6 and 2.1 percent in the year 2000 and 2001, respectively.

Macao sticks to free market rules and has exerted great efforts to improve investment environment since the hand-over, he said, adding that a host of large public projects have been kicked off or scheduled and the SAR is entering a period of investment peak.

Tam said liberalization of the gaming industry will inject new vitality into the Macao economy, paired with strengthened economic and trade ties between the SAR and China's inland.

And the official noted that Macao has its own advantages in terms of economic development, such as the "one country, two systems" principle, free port functions and special links with the Portuguese-speaking countries.

The SAR government has set the target of developing Macao into an attractive gaming, tourism, convention and exhibition and trade center with its own characteristics in Asia, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2003)

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