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Messages from Arnaud Barthélémy

France Consul General - Mr. Arnaud Barthélémy

 


When the France Macao Business Association was founded in 2008, with the support and the encouragement from the French consulate, we had mainly two motives: 1/ recognize and publicize the growing importance that the business ties between Macao SAR and France had gained over the years and 2/ foster those ties further by giving, from the French authorities’ point of view, higher priority to Macao SAR and, in other words, betting on the future of Macao.

Almost five years on, the bet has proved definitely winning. Macao’s economy has kept on growing at a very impressive rate that even the world financial crisis could not derail. After marking a brief pause in 2009, the GDP jumped back on track at +27% in 2010 and then +20% last year in 2011. By some standards such as the GDP per capita, Macao now ranks among the richest places in Asia.

Like in Mainland China or before that in the so-called Asian New Industrialized Economies, such an economic miracle needs to be fueled and sustained by increased opening to foreign capital and foreign products. Indeed, between 2006 and 2010 the total Foreign Direct Investment received by Macao has more than doubled, with an average of 3000 new companies incorporating in Macao each year. Over the last 5 years, total imports have increased by 44%.

France is proud to contribute to this major trend by bringing the best of its know-how to the Macao market. In luxury consumer goods, our brand products are leading-class and, I am pleased to say, have enjoyed a tremendous success with Macau people and their 28 million per year visitors alike. By value, France is the first supplier of Food & Beverage with a 31% market share in 2011 and number 2 for clothing with 17%. All in all, with a 10% (and growing) market share in 2011, France is the third supplier of goods to Macao SAR, behind Mainland China and Hong Kong SAR and far ahead other western suppliers.

On top of that, our relationship with Macao has developed through other channels, such as the creation of Macanese SMEs by French nationals in various sectors. Supplemented by the subsidiaries of some of our big names in the utilities, transportation and construction sectors which have been active for some time in Macao, this growing French business community definitely provides a strong base on which the FMBA could build its services offer.

For all these reasons, I was very pleased to contribute to the launch of the first edition of the FMBA Members directory last year, which was a recognition of the French economic presence in Macao as well as of the achievements and growing role of the FMBA itself. I wish the best to this second edition and I am confident that it will help bring Macau and French business communities even closer to each other.

 Arnaud Barthélémy
 Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macao