The local government of South China's Hainan Province is strengthening efforts to apply opening-up measures and will put forward plans for the construction of a pilot free trade zone (FTZ) on the island later this year, media reports said on Thursday.
The province will introduce implementation plans for an FTZ and a global tourism and consumption center later in the second half of this year, news site thepaper.cn reported, citing an official of the Hainan Development and Reform Commission (HDRC).
The Chinese central government in April announced it would support Hainan in becoming a pilot FTZ. And the local government will help advance the opening of a duty-free store in Haikou and the construction of a duty-free store in Qionghai within the province later this year, the local tourism authority was quoted as saying in the report. There is already one duty-free shop in Haikou, Hainan's capital, and another in Sanya, the report said.
Furthermore, Hainan is scheduled to welcome some global cruise companies and two to three international hotels later this year and will set up visa-free public service platforms for 59 countries and regions, the report said. The province will also launch more air routes to destinations across the globe.
Duty-free shopping enjoys increased popularity in Hainan in the first half of this year. About 7.03 million items were sold in the first six months, with a sales volume of 5.29 billion yuan ($790.3 million), up 32.2 percent and 24.1 percent year-on-year, respectively, according to recent data from the HDRC.