China plans to build Hainan into pilot free trade zone
Less than a week after pledging more reforms, the Chinese government has rolled out a plan to develop Hainan into this country's largest free trade zone.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivers a speech at a gathering celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of Hainan Province and the Hainan Special Economic Zone in south China's Hainan Province, April 13, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]
The decision has been announced by President Xi Jinping at a gathering marking the 30th anniversary of Hainan gaining provincial status, as well as becoming one of China's Special Economic Zones.
"The Communist Party of China Central Committee has decided to support Hainan in developing the whole island into a pilot free trade zone, and gradually exploring and steadily promoting the establishment of a free trade port with Chinese characteristics."
Under the new plan, Hainan will be built into this country's largest free trade zone, which will include preferential policies for foreign investment.
Hainan will also be China's first free trade port.
Over the years, China has developed several free trade zones in cities including Shanghai and Tianjin.
However, the free trade port is expected to have more freedom of trade than the free trade zones.
In announcing the plans, Xi Jinping says Hainan will be given more leeway in creating its own trade policies and institutional systems.
He says this is going to done "step by step and stage by stage."
The new pilot free trade port is expected to focus on areas including agriculture, medical care, education, sports, telecommunications and finance.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd right) makes an inspection tour in Haikou, south China's Hainan Province, April 13, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]
Xi Jinping says investors from around the world are welcome to set up shop on the island.
"Investors from all over the world are welcomed to take part in the building of the free trade port in Hainan so as to share China's development opportunities and the outcomes of its reform and opening up."
Xi Jinping has also announced that overseas businesses in Hainan will be dealt with on-par as Chinese companies are.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced Friday a decision to build the whole island of Hainan into a pilot free trade zone.[Photo: IC]
The Free Trade Port will also use a negative list management system.
The president has also suggested plans are being worked on to try to lure overseas talent into Hainan.
With a land area of less than 36-thousand square kilometers, Hainan administers two-thirds of China's sea areas.
As China's largest special economic zone, it won the central government's approval to develop itself into an international tourism island in 2010.
Aerial view of the world's largest duty-free mall Sanya Haitang Bay Duty-free Mall in Sanya city, south China's Hainan province, 21 July 2017. [File photo: IC]
It's being suggested the new opening-up policy will help transform it into a key bridge connecting the countries surrounding the South China Sea and the Asia-Pacific region with the Chinese market.