IMF praises Macau’s non-gaming focus

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has praised the government’s attempts to diversify “toward an economic model with less volatile and more sustainable sources of income.”

The comments were part of a preliminary report on Macau’s macroeconomic status, following a 12-day visit to Macau from November 3 to November 14.

“With respect to growth, the authorities’ five-year plan correctly identifies the importance of diversifying from VIP to mass-market gaming; from gaming to non-gaming tourism; and from tourism to financial services exports,” said Geoff Gottlieb, head of the IMF team.

“The Macau SAR economy has started an important transition. Developments in mainland China have triggered a large and likely permanent reduction in external demand from high-net worth visitors,” he wrote.

Similar to recent remarks made by analysts, Gottlieb notes the gaming hub is showing signs of recovery.

“Though the [Macau] economy will contract for a third consecutive year in 2016, external demand has begun to recover, with three consecutive months of positive gaming revenue growth.”