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Hainan's port progress plotted

By Ma Zhiping in Haikou | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-21 10:37

Luxury hotels and resorts dominate the beachfront in Sanya, Hainan province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Editor's Note: With this year's two sessions starting-the annual meetings of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference-China Daily toured China to gather a series of stories focusing on the achievements and blueprints in various regions. They show how different regions find their own special strengths to achieve sustained economic development and integrated growth.

Delegates from island province to give input on major free trade project

Many of the 24 NPC deputies and 19 CPPCC National Committee members from Hainan province are ready to give their input on the construction of a free trade port to further open the island province to the world.

The port, which covers the whole island, is a major national strategy promoted by President Xi Jinping in 2018 to underline China's commitment to expanding its opening-up and promoting economic globalization.

The annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference starts Thursday, while the National People's Congress annual meeting is scheduled to start Friday.

The China (Hainan) Free Trade Zone General Plan, released by the State Council in 2018, said a free trade port will be established in Hainan by 2025 and aims to be operationally "more mature" by 2035.

The government plans to make Hainan, with its tropical climate and established tourist facilities, a key part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and an important gateway to the Pacific and Indian oceans.

In a speech at the closing meeting of the third session of the sixth Hainan People's Congress held in January, Liu Cigui, head of Hainan's two sessions delegation and secretary of the Communist Party of China Hainan provincial committee, said that the CPC Central Committee had provided Hainan with all-around significant support in the past year.

Liu added that major breakthroughs were made in the construction of the Hainan pilot free trade zone and free trade port, including breakthroughs on the research of free trade port policies, institutional innovation and deployment of major risk prevention and control measures.

He said the Hainan FTP has a major mission of promoting economic globalization and building a community with a shared future for mankind. Hainan will also strive to be a model of opening-up and cooperation.

Shen Xiaoming, governor of Hainan, said in a government work report to the third session that the priority this year is to push forward the construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port. When completed, it will be 32 times the size of Hong Kong's territory. Hainan will strive to have its overall plan for the free trade port issued as soon as possible and follow the central government's timetable and road map, Shen said.

The proposals to be made by Hainan's NPC deputies and CPPCC National Committee members include exploring the international commercial aerospace market, supporting development of the Smart Hainan plan, promoting foreign trade, establishing an international aircraft leasing center, introducing a Belt and Road pilot zone to develop plant seeds, and attracting more international sports brands and cultural events.

All the proposals aim to promote the growth of the Hainan FTP to the highest level.

The Smart Hainan plan (2020-2025) was issued late last year by the provincial government. Its goal is to create a modern governance system and support the Hainan FTP in exploring high-quality international cooperation. The plan covers construction of submarine optical-fiber cables, the establishment of an offshore-data pilot area and building a Belt and Road international communications hub.

To better implement the plan, the deputies will ask for State support and guidance on the introduction of regulations covering cross-border data flows to allow business to be conducted in a legal and orderly manner.

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