Due to the need to develop international logistics services, China’s Hainan plans to lift most of the restrictions on shipping for foreign capital, announced deputy head of the regional transport department Li Zhiqiang.
“Hainan continues to reduce the list of restrictions and gradually lifts bans on the participation of foreign capital, increasing the openness of [national] shipping,” he said at a press conference. “We have completely lifted the quota on the share of foreign investments in the capital of companies operating in the field of international logistics and related industries, due to the fact that decisions on international container shipping, delivery of ordinary goods by sea and activities of non-vessel operating common carriers on Hainan are now being taken at the level of provincial administration, there are now new incentives to boost the market services in the field of navigation.”
According to the official, at the same time, the authorities facilitated the process of forming an international ship registration system on the island, as well as “creating a strategic mechanism to boost the liberalization of commercial activities in the field of maritime logistics.”
The official noted that the dynamically developing Yangpu port in western Hainan plays a particularly important role in implementing this task, contributing to a quick increase in the volume of logistics flows through the province. “This is a new transport hub located on the crossroads of land and sea container transportation. Currently, work is underway to create a deep-sea fairway designed for vessels with a carrying capacity of 200,000 tonnes,” explained the official.
He added that recently big companies such as China Maritime Shipping Corporation (COSCO) have played an increasingly important part in the logistics routes on the Island of Hainan. “Hainan is actively cooperating with COSCO with participation of all the resources the province has at its disposal. Thanks to this, container shipping routes are being developed connecting Yangpu with the economic region of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. <...> In the first quarter of 2020, when the cargo turnover sharply decreased amid the coronavirus pandemic in the Chinese ports, Yangpu, on the contrary, demonstrated growth: the volume of container traffic through the port increased by 172.2%,” Li Zhiqiang summarized.
Hainan’s pilot free trade zone
In April 2018, President Xi Jinping said that the Chinese authorities intend to actively involve Hainan in globalization and to draw foreign investors to the island province. By 2050, according to the authorities, the island should become a unique international cluster with an advanced economy, developed tourism, top-notch scientific, technical and financial potential, and modern medicine. The branches of the best universities and offices of the most powerful corporations in the world will be located on the Island of Hainan.