Hainan FTP sees significant foreign trade growth in first year

By Nicki Johnson / HICN / Updated: 18:01,07-June-2021

According to the Department of Commerce of Hainan Province, since the master plan for the Hainan Free Trade Port came out on June 1st, 2020, Hainan’s foreign trade structure has seen great improvement. New developments in foreign trade have significantly boosted the province’s economy, with both duty-free import products and cross-border e-commerce import sales putting up impressive numbers over the past year.

In 2020, Hainan’s total import and export value reached 93.3 billion yuan, an increase of 3% over the previous year, and 1.1% higher than the national average growth rate. From January to April 2021, Hainan’s import and export value was 35.35 billion yuan, 9.7% higher than over the same period of 2019, 32.2% higher than 2020’s numbers, and 3.7%  higher than the national average growth rate.

Hainan’s import - export product structure has been optimized over the past year. High quality, high-tech, and high added-value product exports have increased. In 2020, vehicle & vehicle component exports were valued at 795 million yuan, with a growth rate of around 3.8 times last year’s figures, while medicines & medical product exports totaled 450 million yuan, an increase of 19% year-on-year.

Duty-free products were the main driver for Hainan’s increase in import numbers. In 2020, duty-free imports were valued at 23.95 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 80.5%, accounting for a quarter of the entire province’s imports. From January through April 2021, the FTP saw 8.33 billion in duty-free imports, an increase of 139.9% over the same period of 2020, accounting for 30% of Hainan’s total imports.

Tourists shop at a duty-free shopping mall in Sanya, South China's Hainan province, on March 12, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Cross-border e-commerce contributed significantly to Hainan’s new growth in foreign trade. In 2020, cross-border e-commerce import sales numbered 1,255,000, with the total value of goods exceeding 500 million yuan, over 5 times last year’s figures. From January to April 2021, there were 1,125,000 cross-border e-commerce imports with a total value of 464 million yuan, a growth rate of 5.1 and 3.8 times the numbers for the same period of 2020, respectively. Several cross-border e-commerce companies, including Tmall Global, Kaola, and Top Ideal have set up shops in Hainan.

Hainan’s emerging service trade market has seen rapid development. In 2020, emerging service trade market imports and exports increased 1.1 times over the previous year, besting 2019’s numbers by a whopping 22.89%. From January through April of this year, the value of emerging service trade market imports and exports reached 5.108 billion yuan, a growth rate of 1.58 times the same period of 2020 and accounting for 62.58% of total service trade, an all time high. Digital service exports and imports reached 4.634 billion yuan in value, an increase of 304.38% year-on-year.

Hainan was also able to increase its number of trade partners, doing business with 119 trade partners in 2020. Hainan’s specialized service exports have shown clear results, with the Hainan Resort Software Community and the Sanya Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital being named as one of China’s first national digital service export bases and one of China’s first Chinese medicine service export bases, respectively. 

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