From Guests to Greats ①: Singaporean Casey Lim

By Sun Chengnuo / HICN / Updated: 11:01,04-January-2022

"Welcome to GDF Mall!" Casey Lim (vice president of Hainan Development Holdings subsidiary Global Consumer Boutique) greeted reporters. The first foreigner in Hainan to be appointed legal representative of a company affiliated with a provincial state-owned enterprise, Mr. Lim's new position marks the positive changes that have been taking place in the southern Chinese island province since the announcement to build it into the world's largest free trade port. 

Speaking about his role in the company, the Singaporean Mr. Lim, who arrived in Hainan in June 2021, went on record to say ,“I think it’s a recognition of the great trust that the Hainan Development Holdings has in me. It's an honor and it really makes me want to do as much as I can to help this company grow." 

Prior to joining Global Consumer Boutique in an executive role, Mr. Lim spent 30 years in the travel retail industry including nearly a decade handling Chinese travel retail business in Shanghai and Beijing. As a Singaporean, he is very familiar with Hainan island as many of his neighbors, friends, and family since childhood can trace their family ancestry back to places like Wenchang. However, in making the choice to move to Hainan, his decision was based primarily on the changes which have been brought in recent years with the policies related to the FTP and  the offshore duty free industry. He was particularly swayed by announcements from the Hainan government regarding flexibility and perquisites for overseas talents. 

The Global Boutique Duty-Free (GDF) Plaza Phase II is located in the Mova Mall Aquarius building on Guoxing Avenue. With 30,000m² of floor space and 262 international brands, the mall had their grand opening on August 30, 2021. 

“It was really a big challenge for me to get this shopping mall opened as I arrived in Hainan and joined the company in June. That left me only six weeks to simultaneously prepare for the Grand Opening while also doing all the standard onboarding tasks." 

At present, Casey Lim and his team are working hard to launch Phase III of the Global Boutique Duty-Free and expect to have it open at some point during the third quarter of 2022.

Although he's only been here for a short while, Mr. Lim has found it quite easy to adapt to island life. "The weather here is quite similar to Singapore. Unlike when I was on the Chinese mainland, I feel completely at home." This Chinese New Year will be the first time for him to spend his holidays in Hainan. In talking about 2022, he is bullish in his confidence and thinks there will be a lot of positive changes taking place, particularly on the island as it continues to develop as a FTP.    

“I really want to say to others who want to develop their career overseas that they should choose Hainan as their venue. Over the next few years, there will be a lot of opportunities which will provide fertile ground for people who have the skills and who want to contribute them.”




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