Hainan Be­comes Free Trade Zone

NewsChina - - NEWS BRIEF -

China's south­ern­most province of Hainan has been si­mul­ta­ne­ously des­ig­nated an ex­per­i­men­tal free trade zone and a free trade port by the na­tion's cen­tral gov­ern­ment, three decades af­ter it first be­came a spe­cial eco­nomic zone.

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping led the meet­ing, re­port­edly telling those present the de­ci­sion was a cru­cial part of the gov­ern­ment's newly re­leased Guid­ance on Sup­port­ing the Deep­ened Re­form and Open­ing-up in Hainan. Xi said Hainan would con­tinue to be a pi­lot plat­form, a pi­o­neer and an ex­em­plar of China's re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy.

Lo­cal me­dia re­ports said the free trade port des­ig­na­tion means for­eign goods and cap­i­tal, as well as ships and air­planes, will be able to move in and out of the port freely with­out un­der­go­ing cus­toms in­spec­tion. China has not es­tab­lished such a zone be­fore, and if ev­ery­thing goes to plan, Hainan, with an area of 35,000 square kilo­me­ters, will be the world's largest free trade port ge­o­graph­i­cally, sur­pass­ing Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore and Dubai.

Since Hainan was made a spe­cial eco­nomic zone, it has taken the lead in China's re­form and open­ing-up. It was the first to im­ple­ment a visa on ar­rival pro­gram for 21 for­eign coun­tries, the num­ber of which has ex­panded to 59. In 2011, it an­nounced it would ex­empt tourists depart­ing the is­land by air for other des­ti­na­tions in China from taxes on a num­ber of com­modi­ties of cer­tain types and quan­ti­ties pur­chased on the is­land. In 2016, Hainan be­came one of the first pi­lot ar­eas for the de­vel­op­ment of cre­ative ser­vices.

Hainan was ap­par­ently selected as China's first free trade port over other cities in con­tention, in­clud­ing Shang­hai, due to its his­tor­i­cal suc­cess and in­her­ent ad­van­tages in terms of ge­og­ra­phy and nat­u­ral re­sources, in­clud­ing the warm cli­mate and fresh air.

Deputy di­rec­tor of Pek­ing Univer­sity's In­sti­tute of Eco­nomic Pol­icy Re­search Yan Se told Bei­jing Busi­ness To­day that the gov­ern­ment's new strat­egy in Hainan would help the is­land de­velop cen­tral in­dus­tries such as tourism and el­der care, which had fallen short of ris­ing de­mand. And the is­land's weak­ness in tra­di­tional man­u­fac­tur­ing would ac­tu­ally be ben­e­fi­cial, given de­vel­op­ing high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing would be less costly, Yan said. Many pre­dict Hainan will play a key role in the con­struc­tion of China's Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.