In the House of Representatives Budget Committee, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe effectively reasserted his government’s intention to move forward with IR development, suggesting that it even had a role to play in reviving the tourism industry after the Covid-19 crisis.
“Tourism is once again recovering,” the prime minister said, “IRs will support our efforts to become an advanced tourism nation.”
Abe was vague, however, about the timeline: “Considering various issues that may arise, the necessary preparations will carefully proceed,” he said.
Minister for Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kazuyoshi Akabane added that the presumption was that the IRs would open in the latter half of the 2020s.
Consolidation of the bases and advancement in adversity was the thrust of Macau Chief Executive’s policy address for 2021, though it gave little away when it came to the current pillar of the economy - the gaming industry.
Gaming suppliers, like all areas of the industry, have felt the pinch from the Covid-19 crisis, though their growing digital businesses have proved a bright spot and helped offset the impact of the crisis.
While nowhere in the world has escaped the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, Macau has been hit harder than most, with forecasts for gross domestic product to shrink more than 50 percent this year.