Macau Economic Association President Joey Lao Chi Ngai said it was best for the city to suffer a short-term suspension of economic activities and strive to reach zero community infections before the second half of the month. .
In a statement released by the association, Laos suggested that the SAR fully restart economic activities and quarantine-free customs clearance with the mainland as soon as possible, to minimize the impact of the epidemic and seize the opportunity. of economic recovery. from the mainland in the second half.
“If Macao can achieve zero community infections by the middle of the month at the lowest cost and in the shortest possible time, the fight against the epidemic will be considered a success. If economic activities are restarted in an orderly and comprehensive manner, various industries can still seize the peak of the summer holiday season in August, which will have less impact on the overall economy,” Lao said.
“Looking ahead to the second half of the year, the mainland economy will rebound from its low level, and the lifting of excessive anti-epidemic measures will ease the movement of people. There is still hope for a ‘vibrant zero-covid’ and economic recovery in Macau.”
The former lawmaker appointee added that when President Xi Jinping met with Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng in Hong Kong a few days ago, he mentioned that pandemic prevention and control should not be “relaxed”, which he took to mean that Macau must adhere to a “dynamic zero covid” approach and not a “flat one”.
Although he felt that in the face of the most severe community outbreak to date, it was necessary to consider both pandemic control efforts and economic hardship.
“We must bear the inconvenience caused by the short-term suspension of economic activities so that Macau can reach the goal of zero community infections as soon as possible,” he said.
Regarding the recently announced MOP 10 billion pandemic relief package, Lao noted that the outbreak has undoubtedly made the situation worse for businesses that were already very hot, with an operating environment in a “desperate situation”. .
The announcement came after the city reported its first two deaths from Covid-19 since the pandemic began two years ago and as it faces its worst community outbreak yet.
Therefore, the Macao Economic Association hailed the improvement and upgrade of economic relief measures to “ease the pain” for SMEs and boost confidence.
“Compared to mainland cities, with populations of 10 million, Macau’s economic scale is not large, but the population density is high, so pandemic measures are different from those on the mainland.” , he pointed out.
“It may not be necessary for all industries in Macau to stop working. While maintaining the basic protection of people’s livelihoods, the majority of industries can shut down to the extent possible to reduce movement and gatherings of people.”
Lao also said that SAR contractors are concerned about delays due to the epidemic and ask workers to continue working, and suggested that the epidemic be considered a “force majeure” factor and not be counted as a factor of project delays, therefore in such a way as to promote the conditional stoppage of construction sites and to reduce gatherings of construction workers.