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Master Plan for the Construction of Hainan Free Trade Port(I)

Release time: 2020-07-23 10:20        Source: 投资海南

    As the largest special economic zone in China, Hainan has unique advantages of comprehensively deepening reform and testing the highest level of opening-up policies. It is a major reform and opening up initiative which is put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping who has planned, deployed and promoted it by himself; in addition, it is a strategic decision made by the CPC Central Committee in the light of the overall situation of China and the international community through in-depth study, overall consideration and scientific planning--to support Hainan in gradually exploring and steadily promoting the construction of the Free Trade Port with Chinese characteristics, and establishing the Free Trade Port policy and institutional system step by step and stage by stage. Today's world is undergoing a new round of major development, major transformation and major adjustment; the protectionism & unilateralism are on the rise; and the economic globalization is faced with greater headwinds and undertows. Building the Free Trade Port in Hainan is the fundamental requirement of promoting high-level opening up and establishing a new opening-up economic system; it is the urgent need of deepening market-oriented reform and creating a legal-based, international and convenient business environment; it is the strategic choice of implementing the new development concept, promoting high-quality development and building a modern economic system; it is the practical action of supporting the economic globalization and building a community of shared future for mankind. This plan is formulated in order to thoroughly implement the spirit of the important speech delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping during the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Hainan Province and Hainan Special Economic Zone, implement the Guiding Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Supporting Hainan's Comprehensive Deepening of Reform and Opening up, and speed up the construction of a high-level free trade port with Chinese characteristics.


                                                                                        I. General Requirements

(I)Guiding ideology

    We must follow the guidance of General Secretary Xi Jinping's Socialism Ideology with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era. We must fully implement the spirit of the 19th Session of the National Congress of CPC, as well as the 2nd,3rd and 4th plenary sessions of the 19th Central Committee of the CPC. We must uphold the Party's overall leadership, adhere to the fundamental keynote of China's steady progress, adhere to the new development concept, stick with high quality development, and comprehensively promote the "five-in-one" overall layout, and coordinately promote the Four-Prolonged Strategic Layout; We must aim at the high-level international economic and trade rules, emancipate our mind, innovate bravely, focus on the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, establish a policy system which is suitable for the high-level Free Trade Port, build a Special Customs Supervision Zone with international competitiveness and influence, and build Hainan Free Trade Port into a flagship and an important opening-up door leading China's opening up in the new era.

(II)General principles

  ★Learn from International Experience. We must adhere to the high-starting point planning and high-standard construction, actively adapt to the new trend in the restructuring of international economic and trade rules, learn from advanced operation modes, management expertise and institutional arrangement of global free trade ports, form an opening-up policy & institutional system with international competitiveness, accelerate the establishment of a new opening-up economic system, enhance the region's radiating and driving effects, and create the frontier region in China that deeply integrates into the global economic system.

  ★Reflect Chinese Characteristics. We must adhere to the Party's centralized and unified leadership, adhere to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, adhere to the people-centered principle, and practice the core values of socialism, so as to ensure the correct direction during the construction of Hainan Free Trade Port. We should give full play to the institutional advantages of the collaboration & cooperation nationwide and concentrating our resources on major issues; mobilize the enthusiasm and creativity of all parties; gather global high-quality production factors; make new breakthroughs in promoting institutional innovation, cultivating new growth drivers, and building a new pattern of comprehensive opening up; so as to provide solid support for the realization of national strategic goals. We should strengthen exchanges & cooperation with Southeast Asian countries, and promote the interactive development along with the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

   ★Fit the Positioning of Hainan. We should focus on the strategic positioning that Hainan is endowed by China to build the comprehensively deepened reform & opening up pilot area, the national-level pilot zone for eco-civilization, the international tourism & consumption center and the service guarantee zone for national major strategic projects; give full play to its advantages, such as rich natural resources, unique geographic location, and being backed by a super-large-scale domestic market and hinterland economy, seize the new-round important opportunity of the global scientific & technological revolution and industrial transformation, focus on the development of tourism, modern service industry and high-tech industry, and accelerate the cultivation of new cooperative & competitive advantages with Hainan characteristics.

   ★Highlight Reform and Innovation. We should strengthen the awareness of reform and innovation, endow Hainan with greater autonomy for reform, support Hainan to push forward reform and innovation in an all-round and vigorous way, actively explore the establishment of more flexible and efficient laws & regulations, regulatory models and management systems to adapt to the construction of the Free Trade Port; make great efforts to remove the institutional & mechanism barriers that hinder the flow of production factors. We should deepen the opening up of commodity & factor flows, accelerate the institutional opening up of rules & other institutions, and drive the reform in an all-round way with a high level of opening-up. We should strengthen the system integration of the reform, focus on the coordinated promotion, and make the various innovation initiatives cooperate with each other and complement each other, thus improving the overall efficiency of reform and innovation.

    ★Stick to the Bottom-Line Thinking. We should persist on working steadily, push the work ahead step by step, make overall & comprehensive arrangements for the pace and progress of opening-up, and launch an item only when preparation is well-completed, never rush for progress or quick success. We should deepen the efforts to streamline administration and delegate power, integrate decentralization with management, and upgrade services, comprehensively implement the institutional system of convenient access and law-based process supervision, and establish regulatory standards and norms that are in line with international standards. We should strengthen major risk identification and systematic risk prevention, establish and improve risk prevention & control supporting measures, improve the system & mechanism for prevention and control of major epidemics, and improve the public health emergency management system, carry out the work of normalized assessment, and rectify the deviation and the error in time, thus ensuring the correct and healthy development of the construction of Hainan Free Trade Port.

(III)Developmental goals

   By 2025, we will initially establish the free trade port policy & institutional system, which focuses on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. Build an overall business environment that reaches top level in China, with substantial increase in market entities, significant improvement in industrial competitiveness, effective risk prevention and control, gradually improved legal system that adapt to the construction of the Free Trade Port, and significantly improved quality and efficiency of economic development.

   By 2035, the institutional system and operation mode of the Free Trade Port will be more mature. The trade & investment rules that are characterized by freedom, fairness, law-based order and high-level process supervision will be basically constructed, thus realizing freedom & convenience of trade, investment, cross-border capital flow, personnel entry & exit, and transportation, as well as data security and orderly flow. The business environment will be more optimized, the legal system will be more sound, the risk prevention and control system will be more rigorous, and the modern social governance pattern will be basically formed, thus forming a new highland of China's opening-up economy.

   By the middle of this century, the high-level Free Trade Port with strong international influence will be fulfilled in an all-round way.

II. Design of Institutional System  


  The policy & institutional system of Hainan Free Trade Port should be constructed through focusing on the liberalization and facilitation of trade & investment; being supported by the free, orderly, safe and convenient cross-border flow of various production factors as well as modern industrial system; being guaranteed by special tax system arrangement, efficient social governance system and sound legal system; and establishing on the premise of clear work division and mechanism measures, and keeping the bottom line of avoiding systemic risk.

(I) Free and convenient trade. Under the premise of effective supervision, a Special Customs Supervision Zone shall be constructed for closed operation on the whole island. The institutional system of liberalization and facilitation with "zero tariff" as basic feature shall be applied to trade in goods. Liberalization and facilitation policy & measures with the basic characteristic of "permitting both entry and operation" shall be applied to trade in service.

   1.Open up the "front line". We shall set up the "front line" between Hainan Free Trade Port and other countries and regions outside the customs territory of the People's Republic of China. At the "front-line" border-entry/exit link, we shall strengthen entry/exit safety supervision, and enhance public health & safety at port, bio-safety, food safety, and product quality & safety control at national border. Under the premise of ensuring the fulfillment of obligations stipulated in the international treaties to which China is a party or a member, the list of goods and items that are prohibited or restricted from import and export shall be formulated in Hainan Free Trade Port. The goods and items out of the list shall be freely imported and exported and supervised by the customs authority according to law. We shall formulate a catalogue of goods that are subject to import duties at Hainan Free Trade Port, and goods out of the catalogue will be exempted from import duties when entering the Free Trade Port. The trans-shipped goods delivered by the Through B/L(TBL) shall be exempt from taxes or inspection. The goods and items departing the border from Hainan Free Trade Port shall be subject to export control regulations. We shall implement convenient and efficient customs supervision, and build the "single window" for high-level international trade.

   2. Regulate the "second line" well. A "second line" shall be established between Hainan Free Trade Port and other areas within the customs territory of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as “the mainland”). When goods enter the mainland from Hainan Free Trade Port, relevant formalities shall be handled according to the import regulations in principle, and customs duties and import-related taxes shall be levied according to the regulations. For goods that are produced by the encouraged industrial enterprises and do not contain imported materials or with an added value to the imported materials that are processed in Hainan Free Trade Port of more than 30% (including), the import tariff should be exempt when they enter the mainland through the "second line", and the import value-added tax and consumption tax shall be levied in accordance with the regulations. Posted articles shall be supervised and taxed according to regulations when they enter the mainland from Hainan Free Trade Port. We shall simplify the import management of the transportation means from Hainan Free Trade Port to the mainland. Goods, articles and transportation means shall be managed in accordance with domestic circulation regulations when entering Hainan Free Trade Port from the mainland. The mainland's goods do not need to go through customs declaration formalities on condition that they are transferred to the mainland via Hainan Free Trade Port. Yet they should be loaded and unloaded at the customs-supervised workplace (site) in the Free Trade Port, and should be stored separately from other customs-supervised goods, with obvious marks. The site operating enterprise shall obey the supervision requirements of the customs, and transmit the information of goods in and out of the site to the customs.

   3. Freedom in the island. The customs implements low-intervention, efficient and precise supervision on the enterprises and institutions in Hainan Free Trade Port, so as to realize free production and operation of the enterprises that are located in the Free Trade Port. The customs formalities shall be simplified for those transit goods that are shipped from abroad, reloaded, sorted and assembled at Hainan Free Trade Port, and then transported to other countries or regions. There is no storage period for the goods in Hainan Free Trade Port, and the storage place can be chosen freely. The goods that are subject to "zero-tariff" policy is exempt from routine supervision by the customs.

    4. Promote free and convenient trade in service. We should implement the system of negative list of cross-border service trade, break down all kinds of barriers under such service trade modes as cross-border delivery, overseas consumption and natural person movement, and give national treatment to overseas service providers. We should carry out the fund payment and transfer system that is matching with cross-border service trade. We should standardize domestic regulations that are affecting free and convenient service trade further in terms of notification, qualification requirements, technical standards, transparency, regulatory consistency, etc.

(II) Freedom and convenience of investment. We should significantly loosen market access in Hainan Free Trade Port, strengthen property rights protection, ensure fair competition, create an open, transparent and predictable investment environment, and further encourage the vitality of various market entities.

    5. Implement the "market access upon commitment" system. We should strictly implement the "non-prohibition is equal to permitting access" policy, cancel the license and approval for the fields with mandatory standards in principle on the premise of "being able to manage", establish and improve the filing system, and allow the market entities to carry out investment and business activities on condition that they promise to meet the relevant requirements and submit relevant materials for filing. From the time of receiving the filing, the filing-accepting institution shall assume the censoring responsibility. We should implement the management system of pre-access national treatment plus the negative list for foreign investment, and substantially reduce the prohibiting and restrictive provisions.

   6. Innovate and improve the system of investment freedom. We should implement the investment facilitation system that is focusing on process supervision, establish such policies and systems as the establishment convenience that is mainly based on electronic licenses, the operation convenience that is mainly based on "responding promptly", "avoiding interruption", the cancellation convenience that is mainly based on the announced commitment and optimized procedures, and the bankruptcy convenience that is mainly based on diligently-performed duties.

   7. Establish and improve the fair competition system. We should strengthen the basic position of competition policies, and ensure that all market entities that are featured with different types of ownership enjoy equal treatment in terms of factor acquisition, standard setting, access licensing, business operation, preferential policies, etc. We should treat domestic and foreign enterprises equally in the process of the government procurement. We should strengthen and optimize anti-monopoly law enforcement, break administrative monopoly, prevent market monopoly, and maintain the fairly-competitive market order.

   8. Improve the system of property rights protection. We should protect the right of private and legal persons in terms of acquiring, using, disposing and inheriting property according to law, as well as the right of the owner of the property that is expropriated to get compensation when expropriating private and legal persons' property according to law. We should implement the Company Law and other laws & regulations, and strengthen the protection for the small and medium-sized investors. We should increase penalties for infringement of intellectual property rights, and establish and improve the mechanisms of market entities' classified supervision and punishment for dishonesty in the field of intellectual property rights. We should strengthen the application of Blockchain technology in intellectual property transactions, proof-filing and other aspects, and explore new models that are suitable for the development of the Free Trade Port.

(III) Free and convenient cross-border capital flow. We should adhere to financial services for the real economy, focus on trade & investment liberalization and facilitation, open up capital projects in stages, and orderly promote the free & convenient capital flow between Hainan Free Trade Port and foreign countries.

  9. Establish a multi-functional free trade account system. We should establish the foundational platform for Hainan's financial opening to the outside world on the basis of the existing domestic accounts of local and foreign currencies and free trade accounts, and set up the "electronic purse seine" of capital through the isolation of financial accounts, so as to provide basic conditions for realizing the free and convenient cross-border capital flow between Hainan Free Trade Port and foreign countries.

   10. Facilitate the capital flow of cross-border trade and investment. We should further promote the facilitation of trade settlement in terms of cross-border goods trade, services trade and new-type international trade, and turn the bank's authenticity censoring from pre-event audit into post-event audit. We should simplify the management according to the mode of national treatment plus negative list before access in the link of cross-border direct investment transaction, improve the convenience of registration and exchange in the exchange link, and explore a new form of cross-border investment management to adapt to the market demand. In the field of cross-border financing, we should explore the establishment of a new foreign debt management system, pilot the foreign debt management framework in the link of merger and transaction, improve the filing and registering management in terms of enterprises' foreign debt issuing, comprehensively implement the macro prudential management for full-caliber cross-border financing, steadily expand the scope of cross-border asset transfer, and improve the level of foreign debt's fund exchange facilitation. In the field of cross-border securities investment and financing, we should focus on serving the needs of real economy investment and financing, support the development of Hainan's industries with characteristics and comparative advantages, give priority to them in terms of overseas listing and issuance of bonds, and simplify exchange management.

   11. Further open up the financial industry. Hainan Free Trade Port should take the lead in implementing the opening-up policy in the financial markets. Support should be given to building international marketplaces of energy, shipping, property rights, equities and so on and also to speeding up the establishment of settlement centers.

  12. Speed up financial reforms and innovations. Support should be given to the innovation and standardized development of financial services in the housing rental market and to the development of REITs. Industrial financing channels in various forms should be expanded with steady steps, and restrictions on the scope of foreign-invested enterprises’ utilizing their capital funds should be relaxed. Innovations should be made in the policies, products and instruments of scientific and technological finance.

(IV) Access freedom and facilitation. As per the development requirements of Hainan Free Trade Port, more open talent policies and stay and residence policies for high-end talents should be enacted so as to foster the formation of talent clusters. More exit and entry management facilitation policies should be enforced on the premise of effectively controlling foreign-related security risks and hazards.   

   13. Access facilitation should be provided to high-level talents of foreign nationalities in terms of investment and start-ups, lecturing and exchanging activities, and business and trade. The foreign talents evaluation mechanism should be improved, the category of human resources should be evaluated with the level of remuneration as the main indicator, and a market-oriented talent mechanism should be gradually established. A negative list management mode should be enforced regarding to work permit of foreign personnel in Hainan Free Trade Port, and more liberal stay and residence policies on foreign professional and technical staff should be adopted. Qualified overseas personnel should be allowed to hold the post as legal representatives of the statutory bodies, public institutions and state-owned enterprises in Hainan Free Trade Port. Easy temporary entry and exit policies on commercial personnel should be issued.

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