2018 FORECASTS FOR MACAU AND BEYOND — China more balanced against the tide

Definition of plans for the gaming industry and candidates for the Chief Executive may gain shape in 2018, says lawyer Pedro Cortés. President Xi Jinping’s strengthening of power is in line with an increasingly strong and interventionist China within the international community, advocates university of Macau Portuguese Professor Jorge d’Abreu. Instability generated by conflicts between nations accentuates uncertainties of global peace, adds medical doctor Humberto Évora.

PEDRO DANIEL OLIVEIRA

 

Two years before the terms of the SJM concession and MGM sub-concession, 2018 may mark the future for the Macau gaming industry in terms of plans for beyond 2020, Lektou law firm Senior Partner Pedro Cortés told O CLARIM.

“New resorts will be opened in COTAI and more tourists are expected to fill the increasing number of rooms. Furthermore, it is likely that the population be rewarded with more benefits in terms of taxes, pursuant to the tragedy of Hato, which marked 2017,” he said.

On political measures, he predicted “it is more of the same,” since “nothing structural is expected in the penultimate year of the term of the Chief Executive.” Speaking about the Chief Executive, 2018 may also be the year that we will know the candidates for the next term, Mr Ho Iat Seng and the Secretaries Lionel Leong and Wong Sio Chak being in the pole-position for the highest political post of the Macau Special Administrative Region, he said.

“Each of them have qualities and competence in the eyes of the local elite and, allegedly, of those who decide in Beijing. Hopefully, Beijing will not punish the local elites and chose a favorite who rather abandons the ‘one country, two systems’ principle and the sub-principle ‘Macau governed by its people’,” Dr Cortés stressed. “Macau people must understand that what we are is due to those principles, and must show to Beijing that we are capable of governing ourselves and not only a small band of the society.”

Finally, 2018 is the Year of the Dog, an Earth sign, “which is deemed to be a symbol of astuteness and fortification, which may be a good year to protect intelligently the future generations,” he has forecasted.

 

China

Regarding Chinese politics, the University of Macau Portuguese Professor Jorge d’Abreu has emphasized that “the reinforcement of the authority and power of President Xi Jinping achieved last October at the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is undeniable,” which is why the Chinese leader “is now in an uncontested position at the level of Mao Tse-tung and Deng Xiaoping.” That being so, he added, “it is normal that this reinforcement of authority gives him greater capacity to act, both internally and externally.”

Speaking on internal affairs, Professor d’Abreu pointed out the permanence of the fight against corruption, “which should extend to all China, not only to the Mainland,” as well as reducing pollution and protecting the environment, modernizing the economy, increase the conditions and financial capacity of the underprivileged population, and the real estate control, among other measures.

Regarding international affairs, he highlighted the strong position on the Chinese contribution to the world economy, with the consolidation of the BRICS’ bank, also the reduction of global warming, the relations with the US and the European Union, and the nuclear problem of North Korea.

“The talks for Taiwan to become an integral part of China will continue to take place. And as for Hong Kong, it seems to me that the warnings have been very clear, so any ‘dream of independence’ is just a whim without any future,” he stressed.

Furthermore, China will continue to maintain and increase its influence in Africa, “not only by the demand for raw materials, but also by the construction of roads, railways and others,” something that most likely will happen in other continents, as is the case of South America, through financial assistance to several countries and the construction of infrastructures.

“We will continue to see the materialization of China as a great world power in economic, social, financial and military terms, breaking definitively with US hegemony in several areas [of world dominance],” Professor d’Abreu said.

 

World

We entered the year 2018 with “several lit fuses,” particularly in Iraq, Jerusalem, North Korea and Myanmar, among other regions, Dr Humberto Évora MD said. “This means that we will see what we have cultivated. And apparently, the prayers of Pope Francis are not having the desired effect,” he stressed.

“We will continue to watch the repercussions throughout the world-making positions, such as those of Trump administration (and not only), which reminds me a little of the Western movies of my youth, but the native Indians are the rest of the world,” he continued.

Likewise, he stressed that few measures have been taken to respect the planet’s ecological balance (pollution and global warming), and that 2018 is a year of reflection and reaction, failing which irreversible damage or natural disasters on the planet could occur.

“With regard to health, I hope that 2018 will be a year of greater dedication to physical activity as a preventive measure to the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. World Health Organization has recommended to countries measures to encourage physical activity. It seems that these recommendations have not been met with greater enthusiasm by most countries,” Dr Évora said. He was Medical Doctor of the Cape Verde delegation at the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016.

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