China enacts law to boost Hainan free trade port
Published: Jun 10, 2021 09:53 PM
Tourists visit a duty free shop in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

Tourists visit a duty free shop in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province. Photo:Xinhua

China on Thursday enacted a law to make the Southern tropical island province Hainan a world-class free trade port, which is set to further promote the building of the port and facilitate trade and investment.

The nation's top legislature on Thursday approved the law, which stipulated a step-by-step approach in establishing policy and governance to ensure the orderly flow of trade, investment, people, logistics and data. 

Liang Haiming, dean of the Belt and Road Institute at Hainan University, told the Global Times on Thursday that the enactment of the law is expected to serve as a pillar for the building of the Hainan free trade port and also bring transparency.

"Undoubtedly, this will boost foreign investors' confidence in our system as the implementation of the law will make things more predictable," Liang said.

The southern island province is China's largest free trade area and is the only free trade area that has a law specially written for it.

The legislation was passed after it was reviewed by the National People's Congress Standing Committee. The law is in line with a master plan announced in June 2020 for transforming the entire province - about twice as big as the San Francisco Bay Area - into a globally influential high-level free trade port by the middle of the century.

A free trade port system focusing on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation will be "basically established" in Hainan by 2025 and become "more mature" by 2035, according to the master plan.

Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, said at the Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai on Thursday that the State Administration of Foreign Exchange plans to launch pilot programs for higher-level opening up in foreign exchange management in Shanghai's Lingang, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and some parts in the Hainan Free Trade Port.

In December 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce released a shortened list of sectors off-limit to foreign investors, further relaxing restrictions on foreign investment. The list is expected to be further relaxed.

Global Times

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