Facts about Macau
|Population||545,674 (July 2008 est.)|
Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
General info about Macau
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.
Cantonese 85.7%, Hokkien 4%, Mandarin 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 2.7%, English 1.5%, Tagalog 1.3%, other 1.6% (2001 census)
What about drugs?
transshipment point for drugs going into mainland China; consumer of opiates and amphetamines
Chinese 94.3%, other 5.7% (includes Macanese (mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry)) (2006 census)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers
Macau's economy has enjoyed strong growth in recent years on the back of its expanding tourism and gaming sectors. In 2008, the economy slowed sharply because of tougher Chinese visa requirements for mainland tourists and the global financial crisis. After opening up its locally-controlled casino industry to foreign competition in 2001, the territory attracted tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment that helped transform it into the world's largest gaming center. In 2006, Macau's gaming revenue surpassed that of the Las Vegas strip, and gaming-related taxes accounted for 75% of total government revenue. The expanding casino sector, and China's decision beginning in 2002 to relax travel restrictions, reenergized Macau's tourism industry, which saw total visitors grow to 27 million in 2007 up 62% in three years. In 2008, however, Beijing implemented a series of increasing restrictions on mainland travel to the enclave in an effort to clamp down on official corruption, stalling Macau's tourism growth and putting pressure on gaming revenues. Macau's traditional manufacturing industry has been in a slow decline. In 2006, exports of textiles and garments generated only $1.8 billion compared to $6.9 billion in gross gaming receipts. Macau's textile industry will continue to move to the mainland because of the termination in 2005 of the Multi-Fiber Agreement, which provided a near guarantee of export markets, leaving the territory more dependent on gambling and trade-related services to generate growth. However, the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Macau and mainland China that came into effect on 1 January 2004 offers many Macau-made products tariff-free access to the mainland. Macau's currency, the Pataca, is closely tied to the Hong Kong dollar, which is also freely accepted in the territory.
Cities in Macau