China releases masterplan for Hainan free trade port

Chinese authorities on Monday released a master plan for the Hainan free trade port, aiming to build the southern island province into a globally-influential high-level free trade port by the middle of the century.

A free trade port system focusing on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation will be “basically established” in Hainan by 2025 and become “more  mature” by 2035, according to the plan jointly issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council.

The authorities expect to make Hainan, China’s largest special economic zone, the frontline of China’s integration into the global economic system, according  to the plan.

It has also been a strategic decision of the CPC central committee based on the domestic and international situations, it said, noting that the world is facing  a new round of major development, changes and adjustment, with protectionism and unilateralism on the rise and economic globalization facing greater  headwinds.

Building the Hainan free trade port is of vital importance for pursuing an open economy, deepening market-based reform and improving the business environment, as well as a strategic choice for advancing high-quality development and concrete action to support economic globalization and building a community of shared future for the humanity, it said.

Instead of rushing for quick results, China will advance the plan gradually. Hainan will be given more autonomy in reform and will be encouraged to make  both the laws and the regulatory system more flexible and efficient, thus clearing institutional obstacles hampering the flow of production factors.

The construction of the free trade port will provide support to national strategic goals in terms of institutional innovation, growth impetus and greater opening-up. Hainan will enhance exchanges and cooperation with Southeast Asian countries, and promote joint development with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The master plan also envisions grasping opportunities in the technological and industrial revolution, focusing on tourism, modern services and high-tech  industries to foster new competitive edges for the island.

The rules and regulations will be made to align with international norms, while a system for risk prevention and control will be in place, it said.

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