More financing options, simplified procedures create favorable business environment
Hainan, China's largest free trade zone with a higher-level of opening-up policies, has made considerable progress in its efforts to create a favorable environment for innovation in the island province, according to provincial officials.
The FTZ, the 12th such in the country, said an improved, efficient business environment, better intellectual property protection and diversity in financial products were among its significant achievements.
"Systemic innovation has been the core of Hainan's efforts ... we have achieved considerable progress," said Sun Dahai, deputy secretary-general of the Communist Party of China Hainan Provincial Committee.
To vitalize the market, the province has simplified the business registration process on its electronic platform and shortened verification time to just three days. Manual verification is only required for special cases, said Sun.
According to government data, the FTZ sees roughly 382 new applications every day for business approvals.
"It is very easy and fast for a company to open a bank account, register and get all necessary licenses and approvals in Hainan. That, in itself, is a big change in the overall business environment," said Zheng Xiaobo, general manager of Hainan ITG Co Ltd, a joint venture between Hainan Provincial Development Holdings Corp Ltd and Xiamen ITG Group Corp Ltd.
"Of course I miss my previous job and life, but I love coming to Hainan and contributing to the growth of the FTZ," he said.
Innovation in financing for intellectual property was another major achievement in Hainan after the island province issued the country's first IP asset securities late last year with plans to raise 470 million yuan ($69.5 million) of funds.
At present, most of the patents owned by small and medium-sized enterprises in Hainan were not put into efficient use, and companies were facing difficulties such as shortage of funds, lack of adequate financing channels and insufficient transformation of intangible assets into profits.
Through the securitization of intellectual property assets, the problem was efficiently solved, according to the local government. It is considered a brand-new model for the application of intellectual property rights and a new financing tool for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Wei Pengju, director of the institute of cultural economics at the Beijing-based Central University of Finance and Economics, said: "We hope the policy moves and reforms that Hainan is undertaking will accelerate the progress in securitization of intellectual property assets."
Hainan has also come out with various insurance products to ensure a good rubber harvest, a core agricultural product in the local economy. According to the government, if the price for rubber falls to below 12 yuan per kilogram, it would become unviable for farmers.
"Natural rubber is an important agricultural product and a strategic product. It is also an important avenue for a large number of farmers in Hainan to increase their income and improve their lives," said government officials.
At present, Hainan produces around 360,000 metric tons of natural rubber every year, accounting for 44.12 percent of the country's total production, involving more than 700,000 farmers and providing jobs to over 2 million people in the industrial chain.
In some parts of Hainan, rubber sales account for 60 percent to 70 percent of the total income. However, the international prices of rubber have remained depressed in recent years, posing threats to Hainan's economy and the province's pillar industry.
Hainan has come out with two different insurance modes for private buyers and State-owned buyers so that farmers will get an assured payment of at least 12 yuan per kilogram along with insurance guarantee.
Hainan set up the country's first trading center for international tropical agricultural production in January.
The trading center will continuously improve the trading mechanism in Hainan, strengthen the construction of a digital platform, and optimize the service mode, said Yang Sitao, chairman of Hainan State Farms Investment Holdings Group. "It will help introduce more tropical agricultural products from Hainan and overseas countries onto the platform for trading."