BEIJING, April 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A news report by on Hainan Province, a provincial-level free trade port:

Hainan, the southernmost island province of China, has been attracting people from around the world for years with its blue waters, towering coconut trees, year-round sunshine and sandy beaches. Starting this year, China will build an open and distinctive free trade port on this beautiful island.

The Hainan Free Trade Port will be a special functional economic area with the highest level of openness in the world. Overseas products and funds will have free access within the port, and the majority of goods will be exempt from tariffs. This move reflects China’s determination to further open up to the rest of the world.

Thirty-two years ago, the Chinese government established the province of Hainan on what was then a closed-off and underdeveloped border island. It was later designated as a special economic zone (SEZ) to attract foreign investment with its preferential tax rates and favorable business environment. In 1992, Hainan established the Yangpu Economic Development Zone, the first zone in China to be comprehensively developed by foreign investors. Eight years later in 2000, Hainan took the lead to implement a policy of visas on arrival. The following year, the town of Boao in Hainan became the permanent venue for the annual Boao Forum for Asia. A series of initiatives like these have allowed Hainan to continue developing. Establishing special economic zones was also a breakthrough in China’s opening-up.

Back in 2018, Hainan created a pilot zone for free trade on the island. Two years later, it began to explore and establish a free trade port with Chinese characteristics, meaning, greater freedom in finance, investment and the flow of talents. The essence of the port goes beyond trade or favorable policies; it creates a truly open environment at the highest level in terms of the governance system, legal institutions and technological innovation, amongst others.

Hainan is blessed with a picturesque landscape. Its industrial structure focused around tourism and modern services will not only become an advantage and characteristic for the Hainan Free Trade Port, but also coincide with the rapid trade growth in global services and are in line with the development of many ports toward the service sector. Besides, as a provincial level SEZ, a free trade zone and a port, Hainan enjoys its scale. It also has comprehensive experience and has made such institutional innovations as “province-wide one-stop business registration” and “an integrated big data society governance system.”

All these factors will enable Hainan to become a global center for the trade in services. Meanwhile, as a pivot of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Hainan Free Trade Port will not only promote multilateral free trade and regional economic integration, but also share the benefits brought from China’s development with more countries.

Hainan’s evolution from special economic zone to free trade pilot zone, and now today’s free trade port, not only bears witness to its development, but also the continual opening-up of China, as well as its determination to build an open global economy featuring innovation and inclusiveness. Hopefully, in the future, more companies and talented personnel from around the world will come to the island and share in the benefits of free trade.

China Mosaic

Hainan Free Trade Port: A witness to China’s continued opening-up

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