Preparations are in full swing for the first China International Consumer Products Expo set to be held in May in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province.
It will be the first international expo in the tropical province since China released a master plan last June to build the whole of Hainan Island into a globally influential, high-level free trade port by the middle of the century.
According to the provincial bureau of international economic development, many overseas companies have already secured their spots in the 80,000-square-meter exhibition venue.
Kentaro Fujiwara, Shiseido China CEO, said the expo will create a global platform for international investors to display and trade consumer products.
Amid a global economic downturn due to COVID-19, the Hainan free trade port has become a unique magnet for foreign investment as it ushers in a golden opportunity of further opening-up.
According to the government work report delivered Sunday by Feng Fei, acting governor of Hainan, the number of new market entities in the province increased by 30.9 percent year on year in 2020. The number of new enterprises, says the report, grew by 113.7 percent.
Official statistics showed that in 2020, a total of 1,005 overseas-funded enterprises were established in Hainan, surging 197.3 percent over the previous year, and its actual use of foreign capital stood at 3.03 billion U.S. dollars, up 100 percent.
Eighty countries and regions had investment in Hainan last year, double the number in 2019, and the investors covered all G20 member countries, said Peng Wei, deputy director of the provincial commerce department.
On Feb. 1, the 2020 negative list for foreign investment access in Hainan free trade port will take effect. The list introduces measures to promote opening-up in crucial areas, such as value-added telecommunications and education. Overseas high-level universities and vocational colleges specializing in science and engineering, agriculture, and medicine will be allowed to run on the island independently.
Hainan is making every effort to build itself into a place for educational innovation.
Germany's Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences signed an agreement to open a campus in the Yangpu Economic Development Zone last year. The campus plans to enroll students this year.
Meanwhile, public opinion is being solicited for a draft Hainan free trade port law, which is expected to grant the province greater autonomy in reform and provide a legal guarantee for the construction of the free trade port, according to Shen Xiaoming, Party chief of Hainan.