Cross Border Entrepreneurship: Macau, Zhuhai, and Hengqin

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



This study describes business developments in the Macau-Zhuhai-Hengqin border region from an entrepreneurship perspective. The purpose is to understand the nature and extent of cross-border entrepreneurship in this border region. We first review literature about entrepreneurship in cross border regions and develop a conceptual framework. Then, as background, we discuss the relationship between entrepreneurship and regional development. Given the significant impact of tourism in Macau and Hengqin, we also review literature about tourism development from an innovation perspective. Next, we provide an overview of the Macau-Zhuhai-Hengqin border region that includes key socio-economic indicators. After we present a series of case studies about firms doing business in the Macau-Zhuhai border region that are located in the Zhuhai Macau Cross Border Industrial Park and the Hengqin Innovalley Park. Last, we develop a documentary analysis of business sectors emerging in Hengqin that have participation of companies from Macau. The results indicate that entrepreneurship in the Macau-Zhuhai-Hengqin border region has gained a new impetus after the creation of the Hengqin New Area. Public and private organizations from Macau have taken advantage of the opportunities available. The governments of Macau and Zhuhai play leading roles not only at policy level but also in launching key strategic projects. Several policies aim at attracting talents and entrepreneurship based on knowledge, innovation and technology. As of 2019, the investment of Macau companies in Hengqin is estimated in RMB 11.6 billion in traditional Chinese medicine, living and health services, and multipurpose complexes. The Macau-Hengqin cross border innovation system is still in early stage of development. Key policies have been developed and the first series of investment projects are about to be completed in 2020. The main challenges for developing this cross border system will be the development of new interorganizational systems to have positive impact on knowledge creation, cluster-based development, cross-border partnerships, business networks, and institutions.