Aerial photo taken on Dec. 5, 2021 shows the sunrise scenery of Yangpu International Container Port in Yangpu Economic Development Zone, south China’s Hainan Province. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected an economic development zone in southern China’s Hainan Province on Tuesday, as China’s largest free trade port (FTP) celebrates its 4th anniversary.

During the inspection at the Yangpu Economic Development Zone in Danzhou, President Xi visited an exhibition hall and a container terminal, where he learned about the development of the zone and the construction of the free port. -exchange with Chinese characteristics.

China has sailed towards a high-level opening in exploiting FTP. In April 2018, the central government announced a series of measures to help the island build a pilot free trade zone and help Hainan steadily advance the construction of a free trade port.

Over the past four years, Hainan has pursued institutional and technological innovations to lay the foundation for a healthy business environment as one of Hainan’s new competitive levers.

Local data showed the island has attracted more than 420,000 skilled workers since April 2018, while R&D investment has increased by an average of 19.8 percent year-on-year, the local planning and development department said on Wednesday. the reform during a press briefing.

Local authorities have also stepped up their efforts to promote the island to become an international consumer hub. In 2021, the island’s overseas duty-free sales reached 50.49 billion yuan ($7.93 billion), an 83 percent year-on-year increase, and the number of buyers totaled nearly 9.7 million, up 73% year on year.

An official from the Hainan provincial finance ministry said at the same conference on Wednesday that a total of 11 favorable tax policies have been implemented to complement the FTP.

Local authorities in Hainan are working to establish an island-wide customs clearance mechanism, while gradually establishing a tax system to promote the liberalization and facilitation of free trade and investment, said said the manager.

Hainan has seen robust growth in both foreign investment inflows and foreign trade in recent years.

Total foreign investment in the island, in actual use, was $3.5 billion in 2021, up 16.2 percent year on year, according to the provincial commerce department. Besides, Hainan’s total import and export value reached 147.7 billion yuan ($23.2 billion) in 2021, up 57.7 percent year-on-year.

Following the construction of the FTP, Haikou, the capital of Hainan, on Monday signed 36 projects with an expected total investment of more than 13 billion yuan, the first batch of large-scale projects announced in 2022.

Hainan also announced 21 pharmaceutical projects with a total planned investment of 6.6 billion yuan as Hainan FTP focuses on cultivating and developing a cutting-edge drug manufacturing industry.

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