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Opening-up experience inspires foreign officials in Hainan FTP

Aerial photo taken on May 26, 2021 shows the Yangpu international container port at Yangpu economic development zone in South China's Hainan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

With further preferential policies, Hainan Free Trade Port is expected to draw more global attention and play a larger role in the country's opening-up, foreign business officials said.


The remarks were made as they attended a series of seminars on China's development experience as a foreign assistance project in Haikou, Hainan province.


The event, which ran from Feb 22 to March 7, was organized by the Academy for International Business Officials, an institution affiliated with the Ministry of Commerce.


Having been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the past three years, the event has resumed offline to share development experiences with other developing countries and assist them with improving capabilities to this end.


This year's seminar attracted 194 officials from 27 countries. Among them, 114 officials from 24 countries went to the Haikou Integrated Free Trade Zone and the Hainan Free Trade Port Resort Software Community.


Hainan's FTP advantages are an example representing China's experience, solutions and wisdom for reform and opening-up, they said.


Yi Yuxuan, an employee of Fosun Pharma's Breas Medical, which has facilities in the Haikou Integrated Free Trade Zone, introduced his company's operations in Hainan and its core products to the visiting foreign officials.


"I want to help them quickly understand Hainan FTP's favorable policies and share with them how we utilize these policies to invest in Hainan and accelerate product launches," Yi said.


Luka Dut Deng, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement's director for political affairs, learned about Breas Medical's mechanical ventilation products and was very interested. He inquired about how to purchase them from Hainan. "I'll report this information to my government. We can consider importing these important devices to South Sudan," he said.


Mauricio Rojas Alfaro, adviser to Costa Rica's general director of civil service, was impressed with Hainan's significant role in bridging the world and the rest of the country. "It's really interesting to see how Hainan consolidates policies, motivates more trade and benefits both China and the rest of the world," he said.


Alfaro added that Costa Rica's specialties - avocados, flowers, gems and coffee - could be exported to serve Chinese consumers through the Hainan FTP.


Evandro Menezes de Carvalho, professor of international law and head of the Center for Brazil-China Studies at think tank FGV in Rio de Janeiro, was impressed by benefits like tax measures on imported goods and processing materials, and simplification procedures for establishing a company.


"Hainan is a hub for international travelers to gain opportunities to find products of high quality and with lower prices," he said. "After the visit, I'll think about how my country could learn from China and try to bring this kind of initiative to Brazil."

Decio Ribeiro Sarmento, director of export promotion at TradeInvest Timor-Leste, is interested in the strategies Hainan FTP has adopted to promote and attract foreign companies, as his country just signed an agreement in February to establish a bilateral investment treaty with Indonesia.


"The construction of the FTP has multiplier effects such as job generation for locals, small and mid-sized enterprise development and tax revenue stimulation," he said. "I will take the Hainan FTP as a reference to develop the concept for establishing a free trade zone in Timor-Leste."


Hainan's growth in foreign investment and global trade has been at the forefront of the country in recent years and now Hainan is one of the most dynamic areas in China, said Lin Haiyun from the Hainan Provincial Department of Commerce.

"With the stable institutional framework of the Hainan FTP, there is much room for cooperation and sharing. This will bring more development opportunities to investors from all over the world," Lin added.


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