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Hainan governor: Free trade port boosts Hainan-ASEAN ties

By Ma Zhiping in Boao, Hainan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-04-21


Feng Fei, governor of South China's Hainan province, delivers a speech at the Boao Forum in Hainan, on April 19. [Photo/Xinhua]

Development of the Hainan Free Trade Port and the signing of the comprehensive economic partnership agreement will create broader space for exchanges and cooperation between Hainan and the local governments of ASEAN countries, Feng Fei, governor of Hainan province, said at a sideline meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 on Monday.

"We are striving to turn Hainan FTP, the only free trade port with Chinese characteristics, into an intersection of domestic and international dual circulation, connecting with the superlarge domestic market while attracting high-caliber talent and high-quality resources from the outside world," said Feng at the China-ASEAN Governors and Mayors Dialogue, launched in 2015 by the Hainan provincial government to promote regional cooperation.

He made four proposals that highlight fostering a mechanism for closer exchanges and collaboration to boost friendly relations between Hainan and ASEAN cities and economic zones such as industrial parks, harbors and airport terminals.

He welcomed ASEAN countries to set up consulates and commercial tourism representative offices in Hainan and called for the promotion of visa-free exchanges between Hainan and ASEAN to ensure the free flow of people, logistics and capital; increasing maritime and air routes between cities on both sides; building a demonstration area for interconnection; and making good use of the RCEP agreement and Hainan FTP policies to realize deep integration of the industrial chains, the supply chains and value chains on both sides.

The Hainan governor also welcomed ASEAN enterprises to invest in Hainan, which is establishing a modern industrial system that focuses on tourism, the modern service industry, high-tech industry and tropical high-efficiency agriculture. He said Hainan is actively cultivating strategic emerging industries -- digital economy, new materials and modern biomedicine, and future economies that include agriculture as well as the seed industry, deep sea economy and aerospace industry.

He added that construction of the Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone and Lingshui Li'an International Education Innovation Pilot Zone is gaining new momentum and there are solid opportunities for cooperation in terms of international medical services, education and talent training.

"Over the past 30 years since the two sides established dialogue relations, political mutual trust between China and ASEAN has been significantly enhanced, cooperation in various fields has yielded fruitful results, and people-to-people exchanges have become increasingly active, bringing tangible benefits to the people of the dialogue countries," said Lin Songtian, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, who attended the dialogue online.

He said the signing of RCEP has opened up new prospects and will inject new momentum into regional cooperation and development.

Economic and trade cooperation between China and ASEAN went up against the trend in 2021, with the total bilateral trade volume exceeding 684 billion yuan, representing year-on-year growth of 6.7 percent, according to official statistics. For the first time, China and ASEAN became each other's largest trading partners.



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