Hainan FTP business opportunities attract over 100 enterprises from US Heartland region

By / IEDB / Updated: 10:16,23-September-2021

On Friday, 17 Sep 2021, the Webinar hosted by US Heartland China Association, Arizona State University and Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development (IEDB) was held. The event, themed “Hainan: China’s Hawaii and World’s Largest Free Trade Zone”, intends to introduce the new opportunities of Hainan Free Trade Port, and to strengthen the economic cooperation between U.S. companies and China through the Hainan FTP platform. Speakers from the US Heartland China Association, the Arizona State University, Hainan IEDB, Sanya Yazhou Bay Sciences and Technology City, Sanya University introduced the overall development of Hainan, favorable policies of Hainan FTP, regional cultural and economic development, key projects and industrial parks, followed by a further discussion focusing on the business opportunities brought by Hainan to businesses from around the world.

Bob Holden, Chairman of US Heartland China Association

Bob Holden, Chairman of US Heartland China Association expressed his support for free trade and cooperation prospects of partnership between the US Mid-West and Hainan. Hainan, a unique province of China, could be a perfect example of the possible cooperation between China and the US. Apart from free trade in goods and in services, openness also involve innovation in people’s mind. Through free trade and working globally, countries could lead globalization to develop in the way people want it to. The US side is looking forward to the exciting new opportunity of Hainan.

Huang Cui, Chief Representative of Beijing Office of Hainan IEDB

Huang Cui, Chief Representative of Beijing Office of Hainan IEDB, introduced the policy framework, competitiveness and key industries of Hainan FTP. Through favorable policies of “zero tariff, low tax rate, simplified taxation rules and more openness”, Hainan will strive to develop tourism, modern service, high-tech industries and tropical high-efficiency agriculture, while attracting leading companies and high-end talents. The high-quality consumer goods and agricultural products from the US heartland could leverage events like the China International Consumer Products Expo to enter the Chinese market and reap benefits.

 Professor Doug Guthrie from Thunderbird School of Global Management at The Arizona State University

Based on his long study of China’s economy, Professor Doug Guthrie from Thunderbird School of Global Management at The Arizona State University stressed the significance of trade for two countries in that trade could help achieve stability of bilateral ties and avoid conflicts. China had contributed a number of major inventions to human progress. And now, after 4 decades of reform and opening-up, the construction of Hainan FTP not only shows China’s determination of further opening up, but also the attempt of decentralization during the economic development. The development of Hainan FTP, will play an important role in China’s opening up strategy, and bring new growth to the development of trade and investment, tourism and consumption, sci-tech and education.

Charlotte Magnette, International Investment Manager at Sanya Yazhou Bay Sciences and Technology City

Charlotte Magnette, International Investment Manager at Sanya Yazhou Bay Sciences and Technology City, presented the planning industry lay out of Sanya Yazhou Bay Science and Technology City, talked about the advantages of the industry park, which is strengthening the foundation through institutional innovation, industry cluster, talents attraction, infrastructure construction. The park’s development through innovation could help meet its goal of building the “Sanya Silicon Valley”.

Dr. Yang Fuyu, Researcher and Dean of Management in Sanya University

Dr. Yang Fuyu, Researcher and Dean of Management in Sanya University, introduced the overall situation of Hainan’s society, economy, demographic features of different region of Hainan. The multi-ethnic culture, open and tolerant environment, and the young generations could altogether boost the development of an open economy. Topics about the balance between industry development and protection of natural environment were also discussed.

John Heather, lecturer of Tourism Development and Management for Arizona State University

John Heather, lecturer of Tourism Development and Management for Arizona State University at the Hainan University Arizona State University International Tourism College moderated the event, mentioning a series of new changes in tourism, economic vitality, business environment, etc. Companies from the heartland region should keep up with the new development momentum of Hainan FTP, and seize the opportunities brought by favorable policies in Hainan. The Arizona State University would be the bridge for bilateral communication, economic and trade relations between the heartland region and Hainan, Hainan is a tropical island rich in tourism resources, and the infrastructure and supporting facilities in Hainan are rapidly improved day by day, which creates good conditions for international talents to settle in Hainan. Hopefully more talents from the U.S. will be attracted to work and live in Hainan FTP.

More than 100 enterprises from Heartland region attended this event. Panelists interacted with the audience in the Q&A session.

The Midwest is a region of the United States known as “America’s Heartland”, which refers to its primary role in the nation’s manufacturing and farming sectors as well as its patchwork of big commercial cities and small towns that, in combination, are considered the broadest representation of American culture. It covers 20 states that stretch from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. 430 Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in 84 of the cities within the Heartland region. 37 of the 100 largest cities in the United States are in this region.

United States Heartland China Association (USHCA), originally the Midwest U.S.-China Foundation, was founded in 2003. Chairman of the Midwest Governors Association. It is a bipartisan organization committed to building stronger ties between the U.S. heartland region (20 states located in the USA between the Great Lakes to the Gulf) and the People’s Republic of China.

Bob Holden, Chairman of the association, was the former governor of Missouri. During his tenure as governor of Missouri, he opened Missouri’s first China office and assisted Missouri in establishing the first Confucius Institute, which greatly promoted exchanges between Missouri and the Chinese people, culture and connections with Chinese leaders. Holden has also served as the chairman of the Midwest Governors Association. He has effectively promoted bilateral cooperation by promoting communication between the governors and mayors of China and the Mid-West. Aiming at the new policy and new opportunities of Hainan FTP, the association hopes that the United States will establish a positive cooperative relationship with Hainan. This is a new attempt and new exploration of China and the United States to strengthen exchanges and cooperation at the sub-national level, aiming to attract more American companies to carry out trade and investment cooperation in Hainan, share new opportunities in China's development, and promotes both sides to tap the potential of cooperation at varied levels and in broader areas.

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