Hainan: The New Section of China’s Reform and Opening Up
By admin April 20, 2018

From May 1, 2018, citizens from 59 countries around the world can visit Hainan, the second largest island in China, without having a visa for as long as 30 days. This policy reflects the Chinese Government’s April 14, 2017 guideline to deepen reform, open up, and encourage the Hainan Province to be the “free trade port with Chinese characteristics.” According to the guideline, China’s Government positioned Hainan as the pilot zone for comprehensively deepening reform and opening-up, for the country’s ecological civilization, an international tourism and consumption center, and a zone offering services and support for the country’s major strategies. With such important strategic guideline at the national, local and central levels of Government, China published a series of supporting policies that will help Hainan to accomplish these goals.

With a 66 percent of the Province being covered by forest rate and a 71 to 77 degree average annual temperature, Hainan has already become one of the famous tourism attractions for the Chinese people. Right now, tourism has become the third largest industry in this province. According to the Outline of the development and development plan of Hainan international tourism island, the scale of tourism will be 124 billion RMB, which will account for 60 percent of Hainan’s GDP.  Recent research also shows that in February 2018, the number of tourist who visited Hainan reached 9.0823 million and the number of tourism revenue was 10.827 billion RMB, with a 44.5 percent and 44.7 percent increase respectively. On the other hand, as a local holiday resort, Hainan is not well-known at the global level and can increase these numbers in the future.

Under the guideline, central and local governments decided to upgrade its off-shore duty-free policy, meaning that Hainan will not only expand the scale of duty-free stores but upgrade the service as well. Hainan is aiming at developing its cruise industry. The guideline clearly points out that local and central governments support Hainan to develop more international cruise lines and high seas tourism and to position Sanya, a tourist city in Hainan, as a the cruise home port.

The guideline also noted that Hainan should put efforts in the agriculture industry, especially the rubber industry. Right now, the leader of Hainan agricultural industry is Haiken Group, which has manages around 1,715,485 arcs land. With the help of the Haiken Group and other companies, Hainan will try to be the leading natural rubber production industry in the world.

Unlike other regions in China, local and central governments have given the green light to the gaming industry in Hainan. According to the guideline, the Chinese Government supports Hainan in the development of horse racing competitions, meaning that Hainan has the opportunity to become another gaming center, like Macao.

Finally, the guideline grants the Hainan Province an exemption from regulations pertaining to the investigation of medical apparatus and determination of the specific locations for their use.  This policy change will help Hainan to develop medical tourism.

The Chinese Governments is determined to deepen the reform and opening up in Hainan. With a great number of supporting policies, Hainan has a great opportunity to become a free trade port with Chinese characteristics.

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