HAIKOU, March 10. / TASS /. The deputies of the National People’s Congress (parliament) at the sessions of the country’s supreme legislative and consultative bodies held in Beijing described the tasks of socio-economic development of the Hainan Free Trade Port for the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan (2021- 2025) and through to 2035. As stated in the Chinese government’s labor report, the main objective is to actively pursue reforms to increase openness and promote innovation in China’s southernmost province.

“It is necessary to promote fair competition between domestic and foreign companies, in accordance with legal standards to protect the rights and legitimate interests of foreign companies,” said the document read by Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

According to the head of the Chinese government, the program to create a special economic zone on Hainan is one of the most important projects that is catching the attention of the country’s top leaders.

Main areas of development

According to Hainan Daily observers, the province has become the first of China’s regions to successfully implement a number of innovative ideas from top Chinese leaders, the aim of which is to strengthen the country’s openness and identify new new growth stimuli in the era of globalization. For example, the island recently announced the removal of duties on a wide range of industrial products. In addition, the Hainan authorities began to pursue an active policy of attracting qualified foreign personnel to strategically important industries, taking unprecedented steps to increase the inflow of foreign capital.

The Hainan Free Trade Port General Development Program, released on June 1, 2020, has played an important role in establishing a new international trade and economic center in the province. According to Chinese experts, it has unleashed untapped potential and boosted the mechanisms for sustainable and stable growth.

According to official data, thanks to these changes over the past year, the number of market entities in Hainan increased by 30.86%, exceeding 310,000 trade organizations. During the same period, several hundred investment projects were launched on the island, tens of thousands of qualified specialists from different regions of China and other countries were attracted to the province.

According to the local administration, the province has also made great progress in implementing a program to eliminate risks that hamper sustainable economic development.

Exploration of space and the deep sea

In recent years, Hainan has made great strides in the development of aerospace technology. Thus, at the end of July 2020, the Tianwen-1 research probe was launched towards Mars from the Wenchang Cosmodrome (northeast of the island) using the Changzheng-5 carrier rocket, and four months later from the Chang’e-5 flying vehicle, which delivered samples of lunar soil to Earth, was sent to our planet’s natural satellite a few weeks later.

Local scientists have also made major advances in deep-sea research. In November, the piloted bathyscaphe Fendouzhe (“Warrior”) set a new record for China by diving to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, sinking at a depth of more than 10.9 km. After successfully completing the mission, he returned to Sanya Port on the south coast of Hainan.

Other areas of research in which the province has had notable success in recent years include the breeding of varietal seeds and the promotion of plant breeding projects. At the same time, the authorities are actively working to create innovative clusters on the island, encouraging the opening of branches of leading foreign universities and educational institutions.

In addition, Hainan encourages innovative enterprises, both large and small enterprises. According to statistics, there are already more than 3,000 of these trade organizations on the island, whose investments in the development of new products increase each year by an average of 34% per year.

A paradise for investors

In accordance with the decision of the central government, Hainan pursues an active policy aimed at attracting investment from other parts of China, as well as from abroad. Restrictions are gradually being lifted in industries where there were serious barriers to foreign capital. Thus, since February 2021, the Chinese State Council has issued a special decree, highlighting the list of activity zones inaccessible to foreign companies in the southernmost province of China which has been reduced from 33 to 27.

The island pursues a targeted policy to remove trade barriers, simplify business registration and tax procedures. As a result, in recent years, it has become much easier to register a business in Hainan, perform product certification, and obtain a loan. The authorities have considerably reduced the tax burden by taking a number of measures to improve the business climate, revitalize markets and internationalize the legal framework of the province.

The local administration pays particular attention to issues related to the protection of intellectual property rights. Thanks to the measures taken in recent years, Hainan has become one of the most advanced regions in China in this field. On December 31, 2020, a special tribunal was set up on the island to deal with relevant issues. Similar examples in China exist only in Beijing, Shanghai and the city of Guangzhou (southern province of Guangdong).

Boost consumption

One of the main tasks of the development of the Hainan Free Trade Port is the formation of a developed zone of international consumption on the island. Since 2019, the province has been organizing promotional campaigns aimed at boosting tourism, retail and hospitality.

In 2011, the Chinese government launched a pilot program to develop the Hainan Duty Free Channel. Over the past 10 years, the number of these businesses has grown to nine: four are located in the resort town of Sanya on the south coast, the same in Haikou (provincial capital) and one in the small town of Boao (left of the island), where the Economic Forum for Asia is held each year.

According to official figures, at the end of 2020, annual sales of Hainan’s duty-free shops exceeded 120 million yuan (about $ 18.4 million at current exchange rates), after more than tripling in 12 months.

Hainan Free Trade Port

According to official data, during the period of the thirteenth socio-economic development plan (2016-2020), the annual growth rate of the gross regional product of the province was on average more than 10%. Hainan has become one of the major Chinese administrative units with high per capita income. Tourism, the modern service sector and industries using advanced technologies have played a particularly important role in improving the well-being of the inhabitants.

In April 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the launch of Hainan’s plan to build a pilot free trade zone. According to the authorities’ plan, the creation of a pilot zone will give an impetus to the process of globalization of the island’s economy and increase the attractiveness of the Chinese province for foreign investors. It is expected that by 2050, Hainan will become a unique international hub with an advanced economic system, which includes a free trade zone, the campuses of the best universities, the most modern scientific laboratories and the headquarters. of global corporations.

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