China plans world’s largest duty-free store in Hainan
Tan Li, the vice-governor of Hainan province, said on Wednesday that the local government plans to build the largest duty-free store in the world, trying to boost its economy by providing better service to tourists.
Tan made the statement during the 2014 Boao Forum for Asia in Boao, in the island province.
He said the government plans to expand the area of the duty-free store in Sanya, the most popular tourist city in the province, from its current 10,000 square meters to 60,000 sq m.
It is expected to become the largest duty-free shopping mall in world when it goes into operation.
Another duty-free store in Haikou, the provincial capital, will be enlarged from 3,650 sq m to 4,880 sq m.
Tan did not release a timetable for the construction, saying the local government is actively working to get approval from the Ministry of Finance and General Administration of Customs.
In the last year, duty-free sales in Hainan province soared 40 percent year-on-year, according to the government.
Tan predicted that such sales revenue will continue to grow this year.
Since the strategy of building Hainan into an international tourist destination was adopted at the end of 2009, the province has benefited from encouraging policies in economic growth, social development and environmental protection.
Statistics shows that Hainan's GDP exceeded 300 billion yuan ($48.42 billion) in 2013, and the GDP per capita increased from $2,818 in 2009 to $5,703 in 2013.
Under the background of a slowing economy in the country, Hainan has maintained an average annual growth of about 10 percent for the past five years.
SOURCE: China Daily
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