Hainan warmly welcomes Taiwan investors to join the island's economic development and hopes they benefit from the tropical province's comprehensive reforms, Hainan Governor Shen Xiaoming said on Friday.
Shen was speaking to a group of journalists representing 30 media groups from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
"Hainan is drafting policies jointly with the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and other relevant departments to encourage Taiwan compatriots and investors to join in the construction of the Hainan pilot free trade zone and free trade port," Shen told the reporters who were conducting on-site visits in special economic zones, including Shenzhen and Hainan, that have led the country's reform and opening-up over the past 40 years.
Taiwan investors' enthusiasm for Hainan has been running high since April, when the central government announced its backing of a pilot free trade zone for all of Hainan island and the building up of a free trade port with Chinese characteristics, the governor said.
He said Taiwan investors registered 16 companies in Hainan in the first half of this year, and he expects a new peak of investment in the latter half.
Hainan will host a cross-Straits science and technology forum in September.
The forum will be a platform for consultation and exchanges of ideas for Taiwan companies that are ready to expand to Hainan, the governor said.
He noted that Hainan's cooperation with Taiwan started in 1988, when it was established as a province and a special economic zone, and Taiwan investors have made remarkable contributions to the island's economic development, especially to the growth of its agriculture, in the past 30 years.
To date, more than 1,800 companies have been registered by Taiwan investors in Hainan, including in agriculture, manufacturing and service industries.
Construction of the Hainan pilot free trade zone and free trade port will create new opportunities for cooperation between Hainan and Taiwan, not only in the agriculture sector but in education, healthcare, tourism and protection and development of marine resources, Shen said.
The Chinese mainland introduced 31 preferential policies for Taiwan in February to enhance economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Straits and to improve livelihoods for people in Taiwan.
Under the policies, Taiwan residents will gradually be granted equal treatment when it comes to studying, working, starting business ventures or otherwise living on the Chinese mainland.
The media trip was sponsored by the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and the All-China Journalists Association.
Such cross-Straits trips for journalists started in 1992. So far, 17 have been completed. The model has been welcomed in media circles.