China plans to boost the economy of the southern island of Hainan by encouraging local companies to raise funds in the capital market and develop the province into an international tourist resort.
 
At least 10 local companies will list their shares through an initial public offering (IPO) during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), the Securities Times reported on Monday.
 
Luo Shixiang, deputy secretary-general of Hainan province, told the local securities regulatory meeting during the weekend that the provincial government will soon issue guidelines to develop and regulate the capital market, which is playing an increasingly important role in boosting the island’s economy.
 
The local government will focus on developing key industries with huge capital requirements, such as tourism, infrastructure, tropical agriculture and high technology.
 
"We should utilize the capital market to improve the infrastructure such as public transportation and the treatment of sewage. We must also improve Hainan’s overall investment environment," Luo said.
 
The province has 23 listed companies currently. They raised a total of 12.2 billion yuan ($1.88 billion) last year, according to the local securities regulator. Local securities firms have also made profits of more than 400 million yuan in the underwriting business.
 
There are 65 companies from the province in the IPO pipeline. Three of them have already submitted their applications to the top securities regulator for approval.
 
In December, the State Council, China’s cabinet, approved plans to develop Hainan into an international resort. The island also plans to become the country’s second-largest international shopping destination after Hong Kong.
 
With a land mass slightly bigger than the Netherlands, Hainan will be developed into an international resort by 2020, reflecting global standards for travel and shopping services, management and human resources.
 
The central government has also implemented a tax-rebate policy for foreign visitors, and for those from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, to boost the island’s appeal.
 
Foreign travelers who buy goods worth more than 800 yuan a day at a single department store can apply for a tax rebate of 11 percent of the total price of their purchases.
 
Industry experts said the policy was designed to provide foreign tourists with low-price goods to stimulate consumption and drive tourism.
 
Hainan is China’s largest special economic zone. In 2010, nearly 26 million domestic and international visitors traveled to the province, resulting in a 22 percent year-on-year increase in revenue from tourism to 25.8 billion yuan.
 
 

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