Hainan realizing prosperity with free port

By MA ZHIPING in Haikou | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-08-08 09:35
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Traders display ham from Spain at the second China International Consumer Products Expo in Haikou, on July 25. [Photo/Xinhua]

Shen Danyang, executive vice-governor of Hainan, said that the Hainan FTP has become a strong magnet for foreign investment as the province accelerates its opening-up against the backdrop of the global economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said 1,936 foreign-invested enterprises were established last year in Hainan, an increase of 92.64 percent over the previous year.

Its foreign trade has more than doubled from 70.28 billion yuan in 2017 to 147.68 billion yuan last year. Foreign direct investment has hit $8.81 billion over the past four years, with an average annual growth rate of 79.4 percent.

A growing number of foreign companies are settling in Hainan, including electric automaker Tesla and Tapestry Group from the United States, German tourism service provider TUI Group and Canadian candy maker Green Chocolate Works.

Lured by the new offshore duty-free policies updated by the central authorities in 2020, about 30 overseas luxury and beauty brands selling goods such as clothing, jewelry and makeup have opened boutiques so far this year in Hainan, which is building itself into an international tourism consumption destination, local authorities said.

Industry experts estimate that the market value of offshore duty-free products in Hainan is likely to exceed 160 billion yuan in 2025, making the island the largest offshore duty-free shopping market in the world.

Erik Juul-Mortensen, president of the Tax Free World Association, said in a video speech during the Haikou expo last month that at a time full of challenges for businesses, Hainan is the "lighthouse" for the global tax-free and travel retail industry.

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