On September 24, the “Hainan Free Trade Port Policy Online Promotion Conference and Project Matchmaking Conference”, co-organised by the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK (CCCUK), the Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development (Hainan IEDB) and the Joint Conference of Chinese Overseas Chambers of Commerece (JCCOCC), was held online to help British companies seize new opportunities in the development of Hainan Free Trade Port, and connect investment opportunities more quickly and accurately.
Han Yong, Deputy Director General of the Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce of China, Bao Ling, Minister of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, Fang Wenjian, Chairman of CCCUK, Han Shengjian, Director-General of Hainan IEDB, and Matthew Rous, Chief Executive of CBBC, attended the event and gave speeches. This event was specially supported by the Chinese Embassy in the UK, as well as the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), the 48 Group Club, the British Chamber of Commerce in China, the Bank of China Hainan Branch, and the Institute of Directors in the UK (IoD). Nearly 200 guests from mainstream British business associations and local companies participated in the event. The conference was broadcast live on the China Daily platform, attracting 40,000 people around the world to watch and follow.
Han Yong, Deputy Director General of the Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce of China, mentioned in his speech that in June this year, the construction of Hainan Free Trade Port entered into full implementation stage, bringing unprecedented business opportunities for foreign companies and investors. Since then, the JCCOCC and the Hainan IEDB carried out strategic cooperation, working with 16 chambers of commerce, including the British Chinese Chamber of Commerce in China, to promote new business opportunities in Hainan Free Trade Port to global investors. This year marked the fifth year of the “Golden Era” between China and the UK. In the context of Brexit and post-epidemic era, the Hainan Free Trade Port brought new opportunities for China-UK win-win cooperation. The Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce of China will continue to serve enterprises to “bring in” and “go out”, and contribute to the promotion of international trade cooperation and the construction of Hainan’s free trade port.
Bao Ling, Minister of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, stated in her speech that Chinese President Xi Jinping had given important instructions on the construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port, pointing out that it should be in line with international high-level economic and trade rules, promote the free flow of production factors, and build free trade with high quality and high standards port. This has pointed out the way forward and provided a fundamental guidline for the construction of the free trade port, demonstrating China’s determination and courage to further deepen reform and expand opening up. The Chinese government will continue to be committed to providing a fair, just, open and non-discriminatory business environment for domestic and foreign companies. It is hoped that the business communities of China and Britain will further tighten the ties of cooperation, strengthen their confidence in China’s economic development, seize the opportunity of the high-level opening up of the Hainan Free Trade Port, and create a mutually beneficial and win-win future together.
Fang Wenjian, chairman of the CCCUK, said in his welcome speech that the establishment of the Hainan Free Trade Port not only demonstrates China’s determination to expand opening-up, but also brings new opportunities for cooperation between Chinese and British companies. As a strategic partner of the Hainan IEDB, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in the UK will make full use of its platform and information resources in the UK, to organize various types of business matching activities to provide British companies with more abundant and comprehensive information and services for investing in Hainan. At the same time, the CCCUK will also maintain close contact with the local mainstream business associations in the UK to form an effective linkage, helping British companies to better grasp the huge business opportunities brought about by the construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port, and promoting China-UK economic and trade cooperation to achieve more new results.
Han Shengjian, director of the Hainan IEDB, mentioned in his speech that since the release of the “Overall Plan for the Construction of Hainan Free Trade Port”, multinational corporations, small and medium-sized companies around the world have shown great interest in the development opportunities in Hainan. The Hainan IEDB will do its best to provide one-stop service for all British companies to help them connect with platforms or opportunities for development in Hainan.
Firstly, British brands or products can enter the Chinese market through the Hainan Free Trade Port, which has a duty-free policy. Secondly, British companies and British products can participate in the first China International Consumer Goods Exhibition, helping high-end products and brands enter the Chinese market. Finally, British companies, regardless of size, are welcome to locate in Hainan to expand their business or conduct business cooperation.
Matthew Rous, Chief Executive of CBBC, said that with the huge challenges posed by the epidemic, the international community needs to unite and cooperate to jointly promote economic recovery. This project matching meeting of the Hainan Free Trade Port comes at the right time and is another strong example of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the UK. The China-Britain Business Council signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Hainan IEDB in August this year. CBBC will work together with the Hainan IEDB and the British Chinese Chamber of Commerce to jointly promote exchanges between British companies and Hainan, deepen the cooperation between the two places, and promote British companies to share the dividends of Hainan Free Trade Port development.
In the next project matchmaking session, the organiser Hainan IEDB firstly introduced the key business opportunities of Hainan Free Trade Port to British companies. The representative of Hainan IEDB made a comparative explanation of the differences between Hainan Free Trade Port and other domestic free trade zones, which is a common concern for British companies, and explained in detail the key incentive policies provided by Hainan Free Trade Port for foreign investors, such as “Zero tariff”, “low tax rate” and duty-free policies on the island. In terms of industrial investment opportunities, representatives of the Hainan IEDB briefed the participating companies on the investment needs of the three key industries in Hainan, which are tourism, modern services, and high technology, and made recommendations for the China International Consumer Goods Fair 2021 which is to be held in Hainan.
Afterwards, representatives from key industrial parks and companies of major Hainan cities shared with participating companies the preferential policies, investment requirements and cooperation opportunities in key sectors such as financial services, medicine, education, tourism, consumer products, and professional services in each industrial park, and representatives of companies that have already settled in Hainan shared their experience of investing and operating in Hainan.
The representative of Haikou International Investment Promotion Bureau introduced the four key industrial parks in Haikou and their advantages and development plan to participating companies. The industrial parks included Haikou Jiangdong New District, Haikou National High-tech Development Zone, Haikou Comprehensive Free Trade Zone, as well as Fuxing City Internet Information Industrial Park. The requirements for the introduction of enterprises and business cooperation in each industrial park were explained.
The representative of Hainan Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone introduced the history, development plan, special highlights and the operation of the 10 medical institutions that have already landed in the zone to the participating companies, and gave a detailed explanation of the zone’s unique franchise medical policy and the “real world data application”case.
The representative of Sanya International Investment Promotion Bureau gave an in-depth explanation of Sanya’s unique advantages in natural resources, geographical location and business environment, and introduced the four key industrial parks of Sanya in turn and their development priorities and existing companies to participating companies. The industrial parks included Sanya Yazhou Bay Science and Technology City, Sanya Central Business District, Sanya Modern Service Industrial Park, and Sanya Internet Information Industry Park.
In addition, the representative of Bank of China Hainan Branch explained to participating companies the preferential policies of Hainan Free Trade Port in the financial sector that benefit foreign investors from the perspective of financial institutions, and gave a detailed introduction on the financial support services for foreign-invested companies to directly invest in China.
The content of this project matchmaking session was informative and tailored to the needs of British companies, providing effective guidance for British companies to invest in Hainan, giving British companies a more concrete and in-depth understanding of the unique advantages and investment opportunities of Hainan Free Trade Port, and creating more business cooperation between the UK and Hainan.
This online event received widespread attention from the British business community. During the Q&A session of the event, participating companies actively asked questions through the online platform and conducted interactive communication on Hainan’s relevant policies in the fields of education, biomedicine, and professional services, fully demonstrating the strong interest of British and other multinational companies to cooperate with China.
The success of the Hainan Free Trade Port Project Matchmaking Conference demonstrated to global investors the new opportunities that China brings to the world’s economic development in a time of unprecedented change, and also provided a valuable opportunity for British companies to further understand the preferential policies of Hainan Free Trade Port, and grasp timely of cooperation opportunities. The China Chamber of Commerce in the UK will continue to play the role of a bridge, adding new impetus to the joint development of companies in the UK and Hainan, and promoting China-UK economic and trade cooperation to a new level.