Hainan FTP eyes greater opening-up(3)

2021-04-12 09:30:48China Daily Editor : Mo Hong'e ECNS App Download

A customer visits the duty-free shop in Haikou, South China's Hainan province, Feb 20, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Investment doubles

The province saw its inflow of foreign investment double with implementation of a number of policies to facilitate trade, investment and cross-border funds flow in 2020, marking the third consecutive year that the inflow of foreign investment has doubled from the previous year.

The policy to increase the province's annual offshore duty-free shopping quota from 30,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan per person starting in July has also proved a success as the sales of duty-free shops more than doubled to over 32 billion yuan last year.

However, some analysts have also pointed to the weak links in services, especially education and healthcare, as bottlenecks to attracting more high-caliber talent.

"The provision of high-level education, healthcare and public health services is an important pillar to attract more talent and enable them to stay. Despite its fine ecology and environment, Hainan is still lagging behind in terms of services in the three aspects," said Chi of the China Institute for Reform and Development.

He added that the growth of healthcare and education services will be an important precondition for the development of modern services and high-end industries.

Martin Lockett, dean of Nottingham University Business School China, said central government backing for Hainan will help implement changes that could be testing grounds for further change in other parts of the country.

"In parallel, there needs to be education and development of Hainan's current population so that they can participate fully in new developments and benefit from gaining new skills in high tech and service industries, as well as international levels of service quality in tourism and medical care," he said.

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