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Hainan Issues Measures to Further Improve Business Environment

On June 20, the government of south China's Hainan Province issued an action plan to further improve the province's business environment over the next three years, focusing on the facilitation of trade and investment as well as providing services for foreign investment.

The action plan proposes 35 pilot improvement measures concerning government affairs services, the business environment, trade & investment, the law-based market, culture & ecology, and other areas.

According to the plan, the materials required for the approval and filing of foreign investment projects are to be substantially simplified, significantly reducing paperwork and cutting red tape to streamline application procedures for foreign investors. Measures relating to the facilitation of financing and personnel entry & exit procedures for foreign-funded enterprises will also be improved to lower their operating costs, and a mechanism will be devised to protect the legal rights of foreign investors.

In addition, the Hainan Free Trade port will commence trialing some rules from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) — two high-standard international trade agreements. The province will also progressively implement a trade facilitation mechanism with the emphasis on the "zero-tariff" policy.

Danzhou's Yangpu port in the northwest of the province will provide more convenient customs service for AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) enterprises, and render cooperation with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in facilitating customs clearance.

China passed the Hainan Free Trade Port Law on June 10, 2021, one year after the release of a master plan to develop the island into a globally influential free trade port by the middle of the century. In line with the Hainan Free Trade Port Law, the province will speed up the establishment of a legal system to build a law-based business environment.