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The Cote d'Azur of China: A Model of Creative Economy for Macau

Desmond HUI
IJCCI volume 1, issue 1, September 2013

Macau is a small city in the southeastern coast of China with a population of half a million and an area of 30 sq. kilometers. Colonized by the Portuguese since 1887 and returned to China as a Special Administrative Region in 1999, its connection with European trading dates back to the 16th century. With government permission to operate casino and gambling since the 19th century, Macau has grown to the world's number one gambling center in terms of its gambling revenue (MOP 113 billion or USD 14 billion in 2010), surpassing Las Vegas as a gambling capital. However, in terms of percentage to the total GDP of Macau, gambling industry grows at an alarming rate and occupies about 40% in 2010 with a diminishing trend on the economic outputs of other economic sectors. The growth of gambling industry not only has not benefited other economic sectors in Macau but is also repressing them. Since gambling brings in revenue and offers well-paid jobs to young people without much educational qualifications, there are worries from both the central and local government that this would have a devastating effect on both the long-term social and economic development in Macau. The cultural and creative economy has been suggested by various sectors as a probable solution to diversify the economic structure of the city and to re-align the social and cultural values of citizens for a healthy and sustainable development of society. This paper attempts to examine this thesis by evaluating the potentials of Macau in developing a creative economy and proposes to borrow the development model of the Côte d'Azur (the French Riviera) as a possible reference.

Keywords: Culture, Creative economy, Cultural industries, Gambling, Entertainment, Economic
diversification

 

Category: Industry Insight