Flag-raising ceremony held for Macao's 10th anniversary

2009-12-20 09:04 BJT

Sunday, the 20th marks the 10th anniversary of Macao's return to the China. The Special Administrative Region held a flag-raising ceremony this morning to mark the occasion.

The Chinese national flag and the emerald green regional flag have been raised above the Golden Lotus Square in downtown Macao. Chinese President, Hu Jintao, Macao's new Chief Executive, Fernando Chui Sai-On, and Macao's outgoing Chief Executive, Edmund Ho Hau Wah, are attending the ceremony. Joining them are officials from the Special Administrative Region's government and Macao-based offices of the central government. The ceremony has also attracted hundreds of Macao residents.

This is the second day of Hu Jintao's visit to Macao. Later today, he will attend the inauguration of Macao's new Chief Executive, Fernando Chui Sai-On, and the new SAR government. Hu Jintao will also lay the foundation stone for the construction project of Macau University's new campus on Hengqin island.

With a population of 540-thousand and an area smaller than 30 square kilometers, Macao is a small city in terms of both natural and human resources. Despite its geographical size, Macao has made big improvements since its return to the motherland in 1999. In 2008, Macao's GDP increased by 13.2 percent - the eighth successive year of double-digit growth. Macao's per capita GDP last year reached 39-thousand US dollars, making it one of the richest cities in the world. That figure is almost three times its average before its return to China.

Sunday, the 20th marks the 10th anniversary of Macao's return to the China. The Special Administrative Region held a flag-raising ceremony this morning to mark the occasion.
Sunday, the 20th marks the 10th anniversary of Macao's 
return to the China. The Special Administrative Region 
held a flag-raising ceremony this morning to mark the 

Macao has made tremendous changes in a variety of sectors. Macao native, Edmund Ho Hau Wah, became the Special Administrative Region's first chief executive on December 20th, 1999. Shortly after his swearing-in, Macao formed the region's inaugural cabinet and "Macao people governing Macao" became a reality.

Before its return, Macao had suffered negative growth. People's living standards were also in decline. The jobless rate was climbing and public order was unstable.

The SAR government responded by introducing policy geared at "consolidating foundations and ensuring stable development".

Effective measures were adopted to restore public order and reforms were introduced to increase competition in the economic sector.

Macao's economy rebounded strongly less than a year after its return.

The mainland and Macao inked a free trade deal in 2003.