Macao SAR, China

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Return to homepage  |  Last updated: 29 April, 2020

General measures

In February, the government has prepared RM 20 billion ($4.8 billion) for financial stimulus packages, providing tax breaks and cash aid to affected companies and households as well as an additional RM620 million ($205 million) in March to support affected industries and employer.

Employment-related measures

(e.g. state compensation schemes, training…)

  • transfers to eligible employees (5,000 patacas monthly for 3 months), 
  • transfers to self-employed professionals and eligible firms (ranging from 15,000 to 200,000 patacas) under the condition of not laying off employees, and (v)
  • transfers to taxi drivers leasing a taxi, lessees of wet market stalls, holders of hawker licenses and holders of tricycle rickshaw licenses (10,000 patacas). 
  • The fourth prong was about how to improve vocational training for local employees; to help them seize employment opportunities to be made available under the Government’s planned expansion of investment in infrastructure projects. Such training schemes would aim to produce locally a greater number of: electricians; plumbers; welders; carpenters; plasterers; ironworkers; refrigeration and air conditioning technicians; technicians for assembling prefabricated items; and foremen for construction sites.

Economic stimulus measures

(e.g. loans, moratorium on debt repayments…)

Key fiscal measures include

  • Additional health spending handouts to all permanent residents (600 patacas per resident) amounting to 0.09 percent of GDP, (ii) 
  • Handouts to all residents amounting to 1.3 percent of GDP (electronic vouchers with a value of 3,000 patacas per resident valid from May to July which are already being distributed; electronic vouchers with a value of 5,000 patacas per resident valid from August to December), 
  • In addition, other measures include:
  • Tax exemption/deductions for residents and local enterprises. 
  • Fiscal measures amount to an estimated 52.6 billion patacas or 12.1 percent of GDP.

The first of the prongs was to offer a combination of tax-relief and tax-exemption measures with a view to minimizing the financial burden shouldered by Macao residents and local businesses. The tax-related measures were as follows:

  • To deduct from tax liabilities any profit tax otherwise payable for 2019, up to a maximum of 300,000 patacas. The tax measure covered commercial enterprises including local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A total of 2,970 companies would benefit from the measure.
  • To rebate 70 percent of the personal income tax for the fiscal year 2018 paid by each Macao resident liable for such tax. The ceiling of such rebate would be increased to 20,000 patacas. The measure would benefit 170,000 local employees.
  • to raise the starting point for deduction of salary tax for the year 2020, from the current base of 25 percent of salary to 30 percent. The measure would benefit 180,000 local employees.
  • to waive property tax levied on all housing units of Macao residents for the year 2019. The measure covered a total of 180,000 units. There would also be a waiving of 25 percent property tax charged on commercial establishments. The latter measure covered 25,000 establishments.
  • to waive – for a period of six months – the 5-percent tourism tax payable by establishments providing services such as hotels, bars, gym rooms and karaoke venues. The measure would cover 854 such establishments;
  • To rebate the vehicle circulation tax payable on each commercial vehicle used in the city; and
  • To waive or rebate those fees and stamp duties paid in 2020 that were levied by public departments for the issuing of administrative licenses.
  • In addition, other measures include:
  • Free utility fees for residents (for 3 months), 
  • Subsidized utility fees for firms other than gaming operators and high-end hotels (for 3 months), 
  • Interest-free loans and interest subsidy for SMEs,
  • Interest subsidy schemes for self-employed individuals, and 
  • Under the exchange rate peg in place, the Base Rate of the discount window was adjusted downward on March 4 and 16, by 50 and 64 basis points respectively, reaching 0.86 percent on March 16. With the pataca pegged to the Hong Kong dollar, changes to the Base Rate follow those in Hong Kong SAR’s Base Rate that in turn followed the downward shifts in the target range for the US federal funds rate according to a pre-set formula.
  • 10-billion-pataca fund that aims to boost financial support to the community and help it ride out adversities linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The second prong mentioned by Secretary Lei related specifically to support for local SMEs. The initiatives under it were as follows:
  • to launch a provisional scheme regarding an interest-subsidy scheme for SMEs, in a bid to support those businesses in resumption of trading after the novel coronavirus episode. Eligible businesses would be granted a subsidy on any payable interest linked to bank loan liabilities involving a maximum interest rate of 4 percent. Such subsidy would be up to a maximum amount of 2 million patacas, for a maximum period of 3 years.
  • to launch a special support scheme for SMEs. SMEs in operation for fewer than two years would be able to apply for an interest-free loan to a maximum of 600,000 patacas, with a maximum repayment term of eight years.

Other measures and sources

  • The third prong would focus on efforts to support the well-being of local residents, including support for families in vulnerable situations. The measures were:
  • To provide an additional 600-pataca Heath Voucher to each Macao permanent resident, to be spent on an aspect of their personal health;
  • To subsidize for a period of three months all electricity and water tariffs for the housing units of Macao residents; and
  • To grant an additional two months-worth of subsidies to families receiving subsidies from the Social Welfare Bureau.

Main sources of information