Building Hainan into a free trade port won't strike HKSAR: Chinese officials
Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/8 12:13:40
China's master plan to build South China's Hainan Province into a free trade port will not have a negative influence on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as the two regions have different positions and main industries, and their relations complement rather than rival one another, Chinese officials said.
The comments were made at a press briefing of the State Council Information Office on Monday. The briefing provided a detailed interpretation of a mega plan, which China released on June 1, to build its southernmost island into a world-class free trade port, with a major focus on financial opening-up.
Lin Nianxiu, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, China's economic planner, said at the press briefing that Hainan will learn from predecessors such as the HKSAR, Singapore and Dubai, which are representatives of high-level global free trade ports and uphold international rules.
Lin stressed that Hainan's position is different to Hong Kong's.
"Hong Kong is an important global financial, trade and shipping center… In Hainan, we will fully utilize its edge in abundant natural resources, its unique geographic position and its proximity to a massive market to facilitate trade and investment while promoting the development of the tourism, services and high-tech industries," Lin said.
In the next step, Lin said that Hainan will strengthen coordination with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area for joint development. "We will work together to ensure Hong Kong's security and long-term stability and prosperity. We will ensure the 'one country, two systems' principle."
Liu Cigui, Party chief of Hainan, stressed that the Hainan free trade port is a port under "the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics."
"We will not allow any moves that jeopardize national security and hamper [China's] socialist construction in any ideological perspective," Liu noted.
Under the free trade port plan unveiled last week, Hainan will encourage free flows of six elements including trade, investment and cross-border capital. Goods will be subject to zero tariffs, and services will be allowed to access and operate in the market.
Hainan Governor Shen Xiaoming said at the press briefing that Hainan will reduce barriers on market entry substantially to facilitate the opening-up of services sector.
For example, Hainan will open up the basic telecommunications sector in a gradual manner and allow overseas securities, futures and fund institutions to set up wholly owned and joint ventures in the island.
The mega plan for Hainan is divided into two stages, according to Lin.
The major tasks from now until 2025 are to lay foundations and establish a unique customs clearing system. Relevant polices will be implemented in a comprehensive manner until 2035, Lin noted.
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