Muhammad Zamir Assadi
Haikou: Hainan’s provincial GDP amounted to 404.45 billion RMB yuan, registering a 7.5% annual growth in 2016, up by 7.5 percent from 2015, stated by Chen Kangle, deputy director general foreign and overseas Chinese affairs office of Hainan province.
He addressed to the group of journalists from South Asia and South East Asian region here at Haikou Guest house about China’s only tropical province which has focused on seeking new growth opportunities under 13th five year plan period (2016-20).
He said that the province has fully leveraged its three major advantages, the best ecological environment, the biggest special economic zone and the only international tourist island.
With these efforts, remarkable achievements have been made in Hainan’s economic and social developments, told the speaker to the journalists.
Infrastructure has improved significantly which promotes its economy, advances the urbanization that is good to the ecology, told Chen.
Hainan has a sound eco-environment which leads China in the quality of its environment, air, rivers and lakes, and offshore water body while the percentage of clean off-shore water is above 90% and of the days with good or excellent air quality is above 97.9%, said Chen.
Great progress has been achieved in improving people’s livelihood as 200,700 people have been out of poverty in only last year.
Chen also said that province is now deepening supply-side structural reform, integrated planning and administrative planning reform to construct an industrial system pillared by twelve key industries, which are internet, conference and exhibition, technology, healthcare and medicine, tropical agriculture, low-carbon manufacturing, offshore oil and gas exploration, modern logistics and financial services, tourism, real estate, education and sports.
Infrastructure construction of five networks, namely, road, optical fiber, electricity, gas and water will be accelerated. Plans are under way for six categories of industrial parks and hundreds of townships and villages with distinctive features told deputy director general.
Since ancient times, Hainan has remained the hub for the Maritime Silk Road as it serves as the only way to travel across two continents (Asia and Oceania) and two oceans (the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean) and a gateway that connects two regions (Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia) said Chen.
Located close to Hong Kong, Macau and the ASEAN countries, Hainan is not only a window showcasing China’s opening, but also a vital knot along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Provincial government prepares to initiate 501 projects in current year with the annual investment projected to be around 228.8 billion yuan which will have far-reaching effects in upgrading Hainan’s 12 pillar industries, infrastructure and the hard and soft facilities for social life for the more than nine million people.
In 2009, the province was put on the list of national strategies for development as an international tourist destination.
A series of preferential policies, such as free visas for tourists from more 20 countries and offshore duty free shopping told Chen Yibo, deputy director general Hainan provincial tourism development commission.
Yibo said that the tropical island is considered to be one of the country’s best places for living and tourism.
In 2001, province received 11.24 million visitors. That figure rose to more than 60.23 million in 2016. Revenue from tourism totaled 8.7 billion yuan in 2001 and the figure jumped to 66.9 billion yuan last year, up 16.97 percent from 2015.
According to 13th five year plan, Hainan will develop 100 boutique tourism projects with the total investment set to reach 512.7 billion yuan.
These projects will highlight coastal leisure tourism, rain forest ecological tourism, cultural experience tourism and beautiful village tourism, parks with themes on aero space, ocean film and forest.
Provincial government has always regarded tourism as an important growth industry and has adopted the policies to further develop the sector.
Muhammad Zamir Assadi is a journalist based in China. He writes opinions on different international issues including One Belt One Road, foreign relations, conflict zones and war on terror. He may be contacted at email@example.com