President Xi Jinping has said that China would establish a free trade seaport that would offer a more relaxed regulatory environment than the free trade zone in Shanghai.
He said this at the 17th Boao Forum for Asia annual conference that held in Hainan Province. He said the decision was part of his economic plans for the next five years.
According to the reform initiative, import of goods through the port will be free.
The Chinese government will drop tariffs, duties, quota, province-specific criteria for imports and other costs and barriers. The free trade port will enhance regional integration among Boao Forum member states and also offer inhabitants and tourists more choices of brands and boost competition.
However, the resort province of Hainan, home to the town of Boao, would have to compete with 11 other provinces and cities for China’s first free trade seaport. The seaport would boost a more liberalised trade environment.
Xi also announced the liberalisation of China’s financial, services and car manufacturing industries and increased imports by significantly lowering tariffs on automobiles and strengthening protection on intellectual property for foreign firms.
The fact that China’s service sector, including ICTs, was still low compared to America, Britain and India, requires that measures be taken to push the sector forward. This is among the reasons President Xi announced that he will promote import growth and open up China’s service sector to greater foreign investments.
He promised to increase imports and achieve greater balance of international payments under the current account. The creation of the free trade port and other reform initiatives outlined in Boao are in line with the objective of the Boao Forum for Asia, which is to promote regional integration.