World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

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Macau Travelling Guide
Macau Travelling Guide

General background: 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 China on 20 December 1999. China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be practiced in Macau and that Macau will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs.

Area comparative: About 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

Climate: Subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers

Terrain: Generally flat

Population: 461,833 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Chinese 95%, Macanese (mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry), Portuguese, other

Religions: Buddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none and other 35% (1997 est.)

Language: Portuguese, Chinese (Cantonese)

Government type: NA

Capital: NA

Legal system: Based on Portuguese civil law system

Economic overview: Macau's economy two years after reversion to China remains one of the most open in the world, according to the World Trade Organization. The government collects no duty on imports and sets no restrictions on exports beyond those required by international agreements. The territory's net exports of goods and services account for 35% of GDP, with tourism and apparel exports as the mainstays. The territory therefore has been hit hard by the 2001 downturn in its key US and EU export markets. Tourism remained strong, however, driven by a surge in visitors from mainland China. In response to the expected contraction of the economy in 2002, the government has announced a stimulative income tax cut and public works program that will push the budget into deficit. China already has extended support by easing restrictions on travel to Macau and is proposing a China-Hong Kong-Macau free trade area. China's economic weight is increasingly felt, with the mainland now holding more than 50% of assets in the financial, real estate, and construction sectors. Mainlanders, however, have been excluded from bidding on the gambling industry licenses that Macau is offering to break up the territory's four-decade-old gambling monopoly. Gambling taxes account for up to 60% of revenue, and the government with Beijing's backing intends to revitalize the industry.

Communication/Telephone system: Fairly modern communication facilities maintained for domestic and international services.

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