South China's tourist island province of Hainan is to build the world's largest duty free shop (DFS), said provincial authorities Wednesday.
Hainan plans to relocate an existing DFS downtown in the resort city of Sanya, in a 60,000-square-meter complex at Haitang Bay, said the vice governor Tan Li at a Boao Forum for Asia press conference in Hainan. Sanya's current DFS is only about 10,000 square meters.
The Sanya Haitang Bay International Shopping Mall will attract international brands and fashion labels and combine duty-free shopping with hotels, restaurants and entertainment.
Hainan also plans to expand and transform another DFS in the provincial capital of Haikou from 3,650 to 4,880 square meters.
The State Council, China's cabinet, gave Hainan permission to run a duty-free program on a trial basis in April 2011 to promote the province as an international tourist destination.
Offshore duty-free shopping in Hainan's two DFS stores in 2013, hit 3.29 billion yuan ($530.6 million), up 40 percent year on year.
(Xinhua News Agency April 9, 2014)