(Yicai Global) April 17 -- China’s tourism island of Hainan, which is also the country’s southernmost province, is further improving its offshore duty-free shopping policy in tandem with the country’s finance ministry.
The province should lift its duty-free ceiling to CNY50,000 (USD8,000) from the current CNY16,000 and prevent profiteering by reinforcing supervision, suggested Wang Yiwu, the dean of Hainan Modern Management Institute, in an interview with Yicai Global. He also hopes Hainan can increase the variety and expand the scope of duty-free goods, while gradually promoting a duty-free shop in each city in the province, not just the provincial capital of Haikou and the beach resort city of Sanya.
The island -- billed as 'China's Hawaii' -- started to implement its offshore duty-free shopping policy in April 2011, with an initial limit of CNY5,000. It raised this in 2012 and 2016 to CNY16,000. As of the end of last year, two duty-free shops in Haikou and Sanya sold duty-free goods worth CNY30.6 billion and the total number of shoppers was 9.8 million.
Hainan referred to the practical experience of foreign offshore duty-free policies when fixing its duty-free limit at the initial stage and chose a moderate duty-free cap, Wang noted. However, the array of mid- and high-end goods in duty-free shops has been constantly diversifying in recent years, and thus raising the limit is in line with tourists’ needs. Taiwan upped its offshore duty-free limit to CNY214,000 in 2015 to attract mainland tourists.
China’s cabinet, the State Council, issued a series of measures to deepen the reform and opening of Hainan on April 15, including vigorously promoting development of tourist consumption and construction of an international tourist center dedicated to this.
Editor: Ben Armour