Open gateway for commerce across oceans

Open gateway for commerce across oceans
The Morning Laura, a cargo ship packed with 430 imported vehicles from Qatar, arrives at Xiuying Port in Haikou, Hainan province, on Feb 16, after a 16-day voyage. It is the first vessel to carry imported cars since the implementation of the Free Trade Zone policy in Hainan. (YANG GUANYU/XINHUA)With free trade port, new investments, emerging industries, South China’s Hainan province to complement Hong KongDubai, Singapore, Hong Kong … Which city is best for shopping? Choice will become harder as South China’s Hainan province is set to join the list of not-to-miss shopping havens.Add to that the island’s reputation as a tourist paradise-tropical geography, pristine coastline, year-round sunshine, balmy weather, and sandy beaches.There’s more coming up. Free trade port. Investments. High-tech industries. Industrial parks. Cultural elements. Entertainment hot spots.Small wonder, global investors, top-end talent, foreign tourists, and mainland travelers are all redrawing their plans to include Hainan as a priority, never mind the overhang of the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic fallout.Lin Nianxiu, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said during a recent news conference that the first phase of the government’s new master plan will make preparations and lay the foundation for the proposed free trade port system before 2025. Focus will be on liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment.”We will boost the free and efficient flow of various production factors and strive to make breakthroughs in around three years, which will lay a solid foundation for the island-wide special customs clearance operation in 2025,” Lin said.The second phase will focus on comprehensively promoting the implementation of opening-up and free trade port policies before 2035.According to the government’s plan, the free trade port system and operations in Hainan will be more mature by 2035, and high-level process supervision will be mostly built to achieve free trade and investment, free cross-border capital flows, free and convenient transportation and access for people, and safe and orderly flow of data.By the middle of the century, a high-level free trade port with strong international influence will be fully established.Lin said it is necessary to learn from the experiences of globally renowned free trade ports like Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. The island of Hainan will further work with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to boost prosperity.”Hainan differs from Hong Kong in location and industry focus, playing a complementary role instead of competing with Hong Kong,” Lin stressed. “We should give full play to Hainan’s advantages like rich natural resources, unique geographical location and the vast domestic market and hinterland, focusing on the development of tourism, modern services and high-tech sectors.”Cheng Shi, chief economist and managing director of ICBC International, said Hainan would not overtake Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center, and the two regions will be mutually complementary economically.”Hong Kong’s pillar industries are trade, finance, real estate, tourism and services while Hainan will mainly focus on developing emerging sectors such as high-tech industries,” Cheng said. 1 2 3 Next Page

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