A substantial number of Chinese private companies have been attracted to Hainan since the central government announced in April that it would transform the entire island of Hainan into the country’s 12th and largest free trade pilot zone.
By the end of October, Hainan had signed 214 project agreements with investors from outside the tropical island, 60 percent of which were invested by privately run firms, according to the Hainan Provincial Department of Commerce.
Liu Cigui, Party chief of Hainan province, said at a recent meeting that private enterprises and private entrepreneurs have always been an irreplaceable force for Hainan to comprehensively deepen reforms and opening-up, and to accelerate the construction of a better and new Hainan.
Liu said the island province will implement specific measures to help build a fair and competitive business environment, ease tax burdens and reduce difficulties in borrowing money by private companies. Efforts will be enhanced to ensure non-public firms find solutions and achieve sustainable development.
During a recent visit to the Fuxing city innovation park, a base for the internet economy in Haikou, Liu stressed that the internet industry, information sector and digital economy are priorities for Hainan’s development. He said better conditions will be provided to help the park attract more overseas entrepreneurs.
According to official data, by the end of October, 55 private firms, such as Guangdong-based amusement park operator Chimelong Group Co and Beijing Offcn Education & Technology Co, had registered affiliates in Hainan. E-commerce giants Alibaba, JD and Suning have also established regional headquarters or units on the island.
On Oct 18, Chinese internet search engine giant Baidu Inc and the Hainan provincial government signed an agreement to build an eco-village with an investment of 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion).
Hainan FTZ’s policy support for the nonpublic sector comes as the central authorities pledged in early November to support private enterprises to move toward a broader stage.
In Hainan, the number of private companies totaled around 207,800 as of the end of October. The private economy accounted for 57 percent of the island province’s GDP.