Hainan, the tropical destination on the south coast of China is more than a wedding island. Announced on June 1st this year, the Masterplan by the Chinese government is to transform the entire island province into China’s biggest special economic zone (SEZ). By 2025, this trade port is « basically » established and by 2035 this system will focus on the free and convenient flow of trade and investment. Whereas this results in global presence and influence, what does this Masterplan entail and what are the potentials for economic trade and welfare?
What is the Masterplan?
The Masterplan for the Hainan Free Trade Port (FTP) is aimed at the transformation of the southern island province into the flagship of trade ports. While already coined in 2017 as a concept, and approved by the province in 2018, the implementation of the FTP is currently ongoing. Moreover, one of the main aspects is that the FTP can easily cooperate and compete with the high-level ports of Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai due to the international location. While the Hainan Free Trade Port is basically established in 2025, the maturing of the port will continue decades after the establishment. Here, the prospect is to establish a fully developed high-level free trade port including strong international influence around the year 2050. Bearing this in mind, there will be 4 major steps in the timeline for achieving different stages of development:
Hainan Free Trade Port policy highlights
For investors, the key policeis under the Masterplan yield the most importance weighting the opportunities that the Hainan FTP can provide. Therefore, a few policies will be highlighted to further explore the potentials Hainan can offer:
Taking the timeline and the benefits of the new Free Trade Port policies into account, the district of Hainan is an interesting development in the further globalisation of China. In the search for competitiveness among the high-level free trade ports such as Singapore and Hong Kong, the Masterplan for the Hainan Free Trade Port is aimed to be established in 2035 to fully realized these characteristics. The maturing of this FTP will continue until 2050, where Hainan should be established as a competing port with strong international influence. To optimize the potentials of the establishment of the Free Trade Zone (2025), and simultaneously the Free Trade Port (2035), we need to bear in mind that some industries have relatively more preferential support. According to RVO, the following industries will have these extra benefits in terms of taxation and restrictions within the Hainan Free Trade Port (see figure 2 points .2 & .3): Tourism – Modern service – New and High Tech – Retail (Duty-Free Consumer Goods) – Cruise and Yacht – Cultural and Sports – Education – Landscaping (Island loop Scenic Highway design) – Shipping – Air Transportation – Finance Lease – Offshore Trading – Modern Finance – ICT – Advanced Manufacturing – Medical Services and Pharmaceuticals – Oil, Gas and Chemicals – Deep Sea Technology – Modern Tropical Agriculture – Aerospace – Headquarter Economy.
Being aware of the potentials in the abovementioned sectors, the Hainan Free Trade Port can be seen as a good alternative to the Hong Kong, Singapore, and mainland China ports. With the international located position of the Hainan FTP, goods, people, and data can be easily transported to the mainland market due to the free flow in the first line and the efficient control at the second line. Whereas all the enterprises benefit from the full implementation of Zero-Tariffs on the entire island of Hainan and the increased duty-free shopping quota per person per year, the encouraged industries have competitive tax rates and exemption of duties when trading to mainland China in the case of Hainan processed goods having an added value of 30%. To conclude, the Hainan Free Trade Port is an interesting and encouraging development that should be followed closely to further evaluate the potential investing prospects.
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