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Hainan's free trade port attracts attention but coronavirus hinders deal signing | FOOD2CHINA NEWS
Post Time:2020-07-20Author:FOOD2CHINA- Nina Nip

The preferential policies and investment opportunities offered by South China's Hainan Province, which is transitioning into a free trade port, are still attracting investment despite the coronavirus pandemic.

"There are a lot of inquiries about the preferential tax and industry policies for the free trade port these days. Every day, we receive many questions from foreign and domestic companies," said Huang Xunxin, editor-in-chief of ftpol.com, a website that closely tracks the construction of Hainan free trade port.

"Some private capital we have been in contact with seem relatively interested in investing in the environmental protection sector in Hainan," Huang told the Global Times on Saturday, noting that the province's ban on non-biodegradable plastic has won favor from many businesses in the environmental protection material sector.

"The medical sector could be another hot spot for foreign investment in Hainan, as we heard about a Japanese hospital who is talking" to potential partners, said Huang.

The Hainan Daily reported on Saturday that following the investment promotion activities in Shanghai, launched by Hainan authorities, a number of foreign-invested companies have expressed their willingness to participate in the construction of the Hainan free trade port. These businesses include Mizuho Bank (China), Mitsubishi Corp (China) Co, Lawson China, and Shang Gong Group Co, among others.

Mizuho Bank expressed interest in deepening cooperation with the island province in the automobile, environmental protection, medical and other sectors, while Shanghai-based Shang Gong Group Co appeared to be more interested in the region's tourism development by taking advantage of the preferential policies related to cruise ships and yachting in Sanya, the second-largest and the southernmost city in Hainan, according to the report.

Since the unveiling of the Hainan free trade port plan on June 1, Hainan Province has recorded 22,800 newly registered market entities, up 62 percent compared with the same period last year, statistics from the National Development and Reform Commission revealed on Friday.

No new coronavirus cases have been reported in Hainan in more than a month and the province is designated a low-risk area.

As the pandemic has made business travel more difficult, it may take longer for expressions of interest to translate into actual investment. 

A source from a local trade company told the Global Times on Saturday that while they can arrange online meetings, it's essential that clients visit the province before deciding to invest. "So at this point, there isn't much we can do," he said.

Huang said in the absence of global investors, the Hainan provincial government tshould step up infrastructure construction to further support facilities.

"If the province wants to attract high-tech companies it needs to do more preparations," Huang noted.

source: global times

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