Increasingly Int'l: Hainan has 65 Sister Cities Around the World

By Marian Rosenberg / HICN / Updated: 16:26,21-May-2022

On May 17, at a press conference held on the topic of Hainan's opening to the outside world and the construction of the island province into an international tourism consumption center, it was announced that—since 2018—Hainan has acquired 11 new sister cities in countries around the world. Bringing the total to 65 sister cities, this puts Hainan among the ranks of the nation's most internationalized.

Per an introduction by Dai Zhen (Hainan Provincial CPC Committee Office of Foreign Affairs, Director; Provincial Foreign Affairs Office, Director), these past four years have seen numerous breakthroughs achieved in encouraging international organizations, consulates, and commercial and trade institutions to settle here. In 2019, Cambodia was the first country to open a consulate in Hainan since the founding of the People's Republic of China. Alongside projects such as the Boao Forum for Asia Haikou Office, the International Center for UNESCO ASPnet, and the Cambodia Business Center in Haikou, it can be seen that Hainan has been growing ever more internationally connected and has been gaining ever more numbers of international friends cities.

Archival Photo: Haikou's Global Trade Window Building. Photo by XINHUA.

Director Dai said that ever since the emergence of Covid-19, Hainan and its sister cities have joined hands in fighting the battle against infectious disease. Receiving words of encouragement and material assistance from more than 20 sister cities on five continents, the province was, later on, able to donate more than 700,000 medical masks, PPE, and other medical supplies to 29 sister cities in 22 countries.

Relying on sister cities to jointly set up forums on topics such as island tourism policy, and China-ASEAN dialogue, the various cooperative projects between Hainan and its sister cities make for more in-depth and comprehensive cooperation, such as the Hainan-Cambodia Eye-Light Program which went a local medical team to Cambodia to provide free cataract-removal surgery, and other friendly city cooperation brand projects, and exchange in terms of culture, tourism, the economy, and trade.

These past four years to assist in attracting investment, Hainan has established a "foreign affairs +" cooperation mechanism which helps make matches with Fortune 500 companies and famous enterprises. In this way, the province has promoted over 30 non-domestic enterprises to sign contracts to set up in the Global Trade Window Building, has introduced more than 50 foreign-funded projects such as Time Warner and Harrow School, and has assisted Yangpu in introducing a number of important industrial projects such as Oriental Yuhong, Singapore Golden Travel, and PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL LINES (PTE) LTD., and has further facilitated the construction of the island as a Free Trade Port.

Director Dai said that the Provincial Foreign Affairs Office’s next step will be to take multiple measures to promote the FTP to the outside world with the goal of bettering communication between Hainan and the outside world. Some of the ways this publicity will be done will include holding large-scale international conferences and events in Hainan, inviting foreign embassies and consulates in China, and representatives of international organizations in China to come to Hainan in person for the purpose of experiencing the island’s development and promoting Hainan's preferential policies. Additionally, the combination of "online recommendations" and offline communication will be used to promote industry-specific and country-specific exchange meetings with international sister cities, business associations in China, embassies and consulates in foreign countries, and embassies and consulates in China for industrial cooperation and person-to-person exchanges.

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