Hainan FTP on track for vigorous development

Updated: Jun 4, 2021 By By Ma Zhiping in Haikou China Daily Print
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An aerial view of the convention venue complex that hosts the annual Boao Forum for Asia in Boao, Hainan province. LUO YUNFEI/FOR CHINA DAILY

A cargo flight traveled from Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, to Haikou, capital of Hainan province, via Singapore on May 16, becoming the first such all-cargo flight route to service the Hainan Free Trade Port.

Implementation of the opening-up arrangements in the overall plan for the construction of the Hainan FTP released on June 1 last year has made steady and solid progress and the project is moving on a track of vigorous high-quality development, National Development and Reform Commission officials said.

The master plan aims to build Hainan Island, which is about 49 times the size of Singapore, into a globally influential, high-level free trade port by the middle of the century.

Aiming for world-leading levels of openness, the Hainan FTP is supported by an internationally competitive taxation structure featuring zero tariffs, low tax rates and a simplified taxation scheme.

NDRC spokesman Jin Xiandong said the central and local authorities have made institutional integration innovation a priority in the past year, focusing on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, the convenient and efficient flow of various elements, and the establishment of a new open economic system to ensure a smooth start for the Hainan FTP.

More than 110 policy documents have been issued in the past year, including a positive "zero tariff" list for free trade port vehicles and yachts, a negative "zero tariff" list for self-use production equipment and a catalog of encouraged industries, which have established an initial institutional framework for the Hainan FTP, Jin said.

Over the past year, Hainan made concentrated efforts to develop tourism, modern service industry and high-tech industry, optimized the local industrial structure, and vigorously restored economic operations across the island, provincial government officials said.

The business environment continues to improve thanks to the implementation of an action plan for creating a first-class business environment and the progress in institutional integration innovation, said Zhang Huawei, deputy director of the CPC Hainan Provincial Committee's office for comprehensively deepening reform, giving the example of the establishment of a "single window" for international investment and trade which has markedly reduced the paperwork and time required for business examination and approval.

Meanwhile, efforts are being made to draft plans for customs clearance operations in the Hainan FTP to build a solid foundation for them by 2025, the NDRC said.

Haikou is at one end of the Shenyang-Haikou Expressway, and the section there will help the island province connect to the mainland expressway network, allowing goods and people to flow more freely to other regions, the provincial government said.

Work on the section in Hainan, the last section of the expressway under construction, started in April last year.

It is expected to open in August next year.

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