3 July 2018
Dedicated Area Set to Trial Hainan’s Future Free Trade Policies and Practices
As a precursor to Hainan’s shift to full Free Trade Zone status, a move scheduled to be completed by 2020, a 298 sq km site on the east coast of Haikou, the island-province’s capital, is to be developed as a testing ground for the policies and practices that will later be implemented on a province-wide basis. In a move approved by the Hainan Provincial Party Committee and the provincial government, the site – the Haikou Jiangdong New Area – will lay the groundwork for the wider China (Hainan) Pilot Free Trade Zone, with a particular emphasis placed on the following:
- Acting as a showcase for many of the innovations likely to characterise the Pilot Zone proper, including comprehensive reform and greater opening-up, as well as the development of a cluster of individual trading hubs for the energy, shipping, commodities, property rights, stock equities and carbon emission sectors. It will also demonstrate the suitability of the province for any multinational companies or large domestic businesses looking to relocate their headquarters, while also burnishing the province’s international financial trading credentials.
- At the same time, it will look to promote urban renewal and transformation, as well as the benefits of environmentally-sustainable development.
- As an additional priority, it will look to act as an experiential tourism resource, with a remit to introduce globally-sourced premium goods and services to local consumers, while also promoting mainland-originated goods to an international audience. It will also offer a comprehensive range of duty-free shopping facilities to all outward-bound visitors.
- Furthermore, it will function as a key logistics, exchange and professional services hub, with a mission to boost cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) routes, bolster IPR protection and promote local expertise across a number of sectors, including financial services, legal compliance and strategic marketing. All of this will dovetail into ongoing moves to see the island’s Meilan Airport recognised as an international air hub, as well as plans to establish Hainan as the mainland’s preeminent Pacific and Indian Ocean gateway and a showcase for the scope of the BRI’s maritime ambitions.
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