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New opening-up plan increases Hainan’s appeal to global investors

China’s master plan for the Hainan free trade port, released on June 1, has boosted the appeal of the southern island province to global investors.

The global investment service hotline, set up by the Hainan International Economic Development Bureau, has been hotter than ever in the past week.

“We received over 200 calls a day,” said Lei Ting, head of the bureau’s information and media relations division.

Lei said the calls came from more than 20 countries and regions, including the United States and Britain, and their consultations were mainly about investing in the province’s high technologies, medical and health care, import and export trade, and tourism.

Han Shengjian, director of the bureau, said the new policy’s focus on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, as well as the free cross-border flow of funds and personnel, was quite attractive to foreign-funded enterprises.

“These are what global investors value most and what will project Hainan toward the highest level of opening-up in the world,” Han said.

Many enterprises have expanded their operation into Hainan. Deloitte China, which set up its Hainan office in January, is one of them.

“We expect a lot in Hainan. The policy of the free trade port will bring us lots of business opportunities,” said Deloitte China partner Eric Lin. He said the auditing and consulting firm will see more customers from companies that choose to settle in Hainan and launch global businesses from there.

Fosun Tourism Group in April inked an agreement with the government of Sanya, a resort city in Hainan, to expand a tourist complex.

“The construction of a free trade port is an unprecedented opportunity for Hainan to become one of the most attractive places for global investors,” said Qian Jiannong, board chairman and chief executive officer of the Fosun Tourism Group.

Qian highlighted the construction of a law-based, international and convenient business environment as mentioned in the plan.

“We’ve benefited from Hainan’s improving business environment in recent years, but Hainan still has a long way to go to meet the requirements of a free trade port,” he said, adding it is the main reason for them to be optimistic about Hainan’s prospects.

Shen Xiaoming, governor of Hainan, said Monday that Hainan pays special attention to creating an open, transparent and predictable business environment.

The government must also respect enterprises and entrepreneurs and let them be the final judge of the local business environment, Shen said at a press conference held in Beijing.

Liu Cigui, Party secretary of Hainan, extended a warm invitation to global companies and talents at the same event.

“Investors and talents from all over the world are welcomed to invest in Hainan, participate in the construction of the Hainan free trade port, and share China’s development opportunities and the fruits of China’s reform and opening-up,” said Liu.

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