SCIO briefing on master plan for Hainan Free Trade Port

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The Poster News APP:

The official release of the master plan is a very important opportunity for Hainan's development. How will Hainan province make use of this policy advantage to further improve its business environment? What benefits will the policies bring to the people through the development of Hainan free trade port? Thank you.

Shen Xiaoming:

The comparative advantage of Hainan is its environment covering three aspects, including its ecological environment, business environment and policy environment. It's fair to say that the business environment is one of the key issues essential to the success of Hainan free trade port. The general goal in this regard is to create a world-class business environment governed by rule of law, meeting international standards, and business-friendly. When optimizing the business environment in Hainan, we've attached great importance to two aspects. The first is fairness, transparency and predictability. Fairness means that all parties will be treated in the same way, regardless of whether it involves domestic or foreign investment, State-owned or private business, local or outside company, and people familiar or unfamiliar to us. Transparency and predictability mean government needs to be transparent about whether a thing can be done or not and how, including the standards, procedures, and courses of action that need to be taken, so that market entities can feel the entire process and results are predictable. The second requirement is to clarify the roles of government and enterprises. The concept of respecting enterprises and entrepreneurs should be reinforced. They have the final say on whether the business environment is good or not. Government, officials, or even the evaluation system itself cannot be the judge. 

Just now you've raised a very interesting question about the benefits for the people brought about by the policies adopted for the development of Hainan free trade port. The reason I think it is interesting is that, if you read the master plan literally, it seems that this document has nothing to do with the people as all it talks about are policies and market activities such as investment and trade. However, a more careful analysis will show the public benefits the free port will bring. For people in Hainan province, statistics show that, over the two years since General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech in Hainan on April 13, 2018, the number of market entities has increased by 444,000, which is a gain of 66% from the previous level. Among them, the number of businesses has increased by 144,000 (up 68%), creating 400,000 jobs. That's a direct benefit for Hainan people. Among the 144,000 new businesses, 117 were investments by Global 500 companies. Thus, in addition to the increase of jobs, the quality of the jobs has improved, and there are more options available. Of course, benefits brought to local people are not limited only to employment. In terms of consumption, just now Mr. Zou mentioned that the master plan will allow the local community to purchase some imported daily necessities in a tax-free way in Hainan island under a list-based management system. We believe this will mean the price for some imported daily necessities will be much lower than that outside of the Hainan free trade port. 

What does the Hainan free trade port have to do with people across China? First, we will optimize to a great extent the existing Hainan offshore duty-free policy. Just now Mr. Zou elaborated on this topic. Hainan will become an important destination of tourism and shopping. We hope it can become a paradise not only for tourists, but also for shoppers across China. Second, Hainan free trade port will provide unprecedented opportunities for talents in China and around the world. My colleagues have also covered this topic, so I'll not repeat what they have said. Recently people are talking about the old and new generations. This is a relative concept. Whatever generation, you're equally welcome to Hainan free trade port. Thank you.

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