China navigates high-level opening-up at Hainan Free Trade Port
A new freighter pulls in to shore on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, and 50,000 tonnes of imported rapeseed is quickly unloaded and transported to the Yangpu Economic Development Zone.
The cargo ship belongs to AUSCA International Oils and Grains., Ltd., which operates Hainan's first grain and oil processing project, with an annual output of 1 million tonnes.
The company imports soybeans, rapeseed and other raw materials from countries such as Brazil and Canada. After being processed at the port area, the products are then sold in Hainan and other areas in China. It only took the company half a year to enter into production after signing the project contract, thanks to the endeavor to drive high-level opening-up at the Hainan Free Trade Port (FTP).
Last June, China released a master plan to build the southernmost province of Hainan into a globally influential and high-level FTP by the middle of the century.
Notable progress has hence been made, with a slew of policies and measures having been rolled out to liberalize and facilitate trade in goods and services at the Hainan FTP. Measures to widen market access in sectors including finance, culture and medical care have also become a booster to propel Hainan's economic reform and opening-up.
"The favorable policies in the Hainan FTP, especially the value-added processing policy first implemented in the Yangpu free trade port area, have given us incredible business opportunities," said Zhang Hui, the company's general manager.
Yangpu is taking the lead in implementing preferential policies, including tariff exemption, as part of stress tests for Hainan to operate as an FTP, said Ye Yang, an official with the Yangpu Economic Development Zone.
Since July when the project was put into operation, AUSCA has been exempted from about 17.6 million yuan (about 2.8 million U.S. dollars) in customs duties.
As a special treat, residents in the port area are also entitled to set up commercial businesses as part of the efforts to accumulate experience in the operation and management of the FTP.
So far, the Yangpu bonded port has attracted more than 2,200 enterprises over an area of less than 2.3 square km.
Among them is Hainan Pinnacle Falcon Intelligent Survey Technology Co., Ltd. In the company's showroom, an underwater charger constantly powers in-water equipment using deep-sea microcurrents.
"We're greatly motivated by the emphasis on high-quality development and comprehensively deepening reform and opening-up at the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee," said Ding Feng, the company's board chairman. "We chose to settle in Yangpu because we see infinite business opportunities brought by the Hainan FTP."
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