Workers labor at the construction site of Lingshui Li'An international education innovation pilot zone in Li'An peninsula of Lingshui Li Autonomous County, south China's Hainan Province, April 5, 2021. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)
The Chinese economy has entered a stage of high-quality development, and the southern province of Hainan is spearheading the country's efforts to establish its new development paradigm.
With the first China International Consumer Products Expo underway in Hainan, the country is giving full play to the advantages brought by the Hainan free trade port.
NEW DRIVING FORCE
The Hainan free trade port has demonstrated China's determination to push ahead with its high-level opening-up, and will set an example for high-quality development nationwide, said China's Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Bingnan during the expo.
The country first proposed the establishment of a free trade zone in Hainan in 2018 and began construction of the Hainan free trade port last year.
The consumer products expo, which runs from May 7 to May 10, is an essential move toward the construction of the Hainan free trade port and a step toward further opening-up as the province strengthens duty-free consumption to drive economic development.
Official data shows that offshore duty-free sales in the province exceeded 32 billion yuan (about 4.98 billion U.S. dollars) in 2020 and average daily duty-free sales hit 120 million yuan by the end of 2020, after the annual tax-free shopping quota was lifted from 30,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan per person on July 1, 2020.
Offshore duty-free shopping in Hainan has expanded domestic demand and helped push the new development paradigm of "dual circulation," said Chilli Zhou, country sales director of Zimmerli Textil AG, an exhibitor at the four-day event. "Dual circulation" allows the domestic and overseas markets to reinforce each other and takes the domestic market as the mainstay.
To prop up high-quality development, Hainan is working to build itself into an international tourism and consumption center, and will introduce modern services such as the Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone and over 100 new educational institutions established jointly with domestic and overseas partners, as well as high-tech industries.
Hainan has said it will bolster three emerging industries during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) -- the digital economy, new petrochemical engineering materials and biological medicine, with production values respectively surpassing 400 billion yuan, 200 billion yuan and 50 billion yuan.
While fostering new economic driving forces, progress has also been made in promoting green development and innovation. The province plans to optimize and upgrade the entire industrial chain for vehicles powered by clean energy in the free trade port, according to the provincial government.
To expand its high-tech sectors, the province aims to bring its number of high-tech companies to 1,100 in 2021, and to surpass 3,000 by 2025, according to provincial government plans.
The province will also explore green finance products such as a carbon emission exchange and green credit and bonds, said Hainan's Vice Governor Shen Danyang.