One of the new measures for reform and opening up in Hainan is to support Hainan Island to build a free trade trial zone. The data shows that so far, China has set up three batches of 11 free trade pilot zones, forming a “1+3+7” pilot structure.
What are the characteristics of Hainan’s free trade zone? Chi Fulin told the Beijing Youth Daily reporter that, first, the ultimate goal of Hainan is to establish a free trade port, while Tianjin, Shanghai, etc. are still free trade pilot zones with different goals; Hainan’s entire island is nearly 35,000 square kilometers, and its area is much larger than that of other free trade areas. Regardless of geographical conditions or natural conditions, the island of Hainan is suitable for the establishment of a free trade area on the entire island.
Talking about the difference between the free trade pilot zone and the free trade port, Xiao Jincheng said that in the construction of a free trade trial zone across the island, some measures may be implemented, such as landing visas, foreign financial institutions can set up branches, and foreign medical institutions. Can also come to Hainan, these are actually some of the contents of the free trade zone. Free trade ports need to adopt more open rules. The most prominent is to implement zero tariffs (non-tariff areas) within the region.
The formulation of the free trade port construction is a step-by-step process of establishing a free trade port policy and institutional system. As for the Hainan’s timetable from the free trade zone to the free trade port, the “Guidelines of the CPC Central Committee and State Council on Supporting Hainan’s Comprehensive Deepening of Reform and Opening-up” also pointed out that in 2025, the free trade port system was initially established and the business environment reached the domestic first-rate level; In 2035, the free trade port’s institutional system and operating model became more mature and the business environment ranked among the top in the world.
In response, Sang Baichuan, Dean of the International Economic Research Institute of the University of International Business and Economics, interpreted that Hainan Island’s construction of a free trade trial zone means that it will no longer be fragmented, and will not cut out small plots inside to conduct free trade trials. The exploration of the area, but the entire Hainan Province is a free trade pilot area, this policy will be in place one step, of course, there will be a construction process.
Like the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, it has been around for nearly five years from 2013 to now. It is also in the process of successive construction. As for Hainan, while establishing free trade trial zones throughout Hainan Province, we are exploring and steadily advancing the establishment of free trade ports. The two constructions should be parallel. I personally suggest that Hainan should eventually be built as a free trade port.