With the novel coronavirus disease under control in China and the economy recovering, the sunny island of Hainan in the south, the youngest province in the country, has reported progress in its new mandate to become a free trade port. A Ministry of Commerce official said on April 13 that 97 percent of the pilot tasks set down in the transformation plan, which was drafted two years ago, have been completed.
Hainan became a province and a special economic zone in 1988, when reform and opening up was in full swing in China. It benefited from the double advantage of preferential economic policies as well as its geographic advantages. It is a key link on the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, connected to international shipping routes passing through the South China Sea and serving as China's gateway to the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
It also has one of the best ecosystems and tourism resources in the country, adding to its advantages to become a successful free trade port.
In 2018, the 30th anniversary of the Hainan Special Economic Zone, President Xi Jinping disclosed another mission for the province. On April 13 that year, he announced the plan to develop the island into a pilot free trade zone and eventually, into a free trade port with Chinese characteristics to show China's commitment to opening up and economic globalization.
Subsequently, the State Council issued the general plan for the China (Hainan) Pilot Free Trade Zone on October 16, outlining new policies to encourage overseas investment for high-quality reform and opening up.
This is the year the province initiates the construction of a free trade port. The Hainan Free Trade Port (FTP) will signal a new round of opening up in China, welcoming investors from across the world and sharing the opportunities arising from China's reform and development.
The FTP will focus on innovation and establishing a modern economic system to advance economic globalization.
The Central Government is supporting Hainan to establish policies and an institutional system in stages, while the island is also taking the best lessons from the advanced business and management models in other international FTPs.
At the same time, the FTP will highlight Chinese characteristics and conform to Chinese conditions and Hainan's development positioning.
(Original Title: On Target)