On June 1, 2020, Chinese authorities released the Overall Plan for the Construction of Hainan Free Trade Port (“the Masterplan”), a large-scale plan to transform the entire island province into a Free Trade Port (FTP) – making it the largest special economic zone in China. The overall goal is to liberalize the cross-border flows of trade, people and investment and to create a major international market which is easily accessible for foreign companies. In order to achieve this, Hainan will adopt special policies, such as lower import duties, lower company taxes, favorable personal income taxes and less strict visa requirements for tourists and business people. In this context, the China International Consumer Products Expo or Hainan Expo will be held from 7 to 10 May 2021. The expo highlights the island’s and China’s opening-up to the world and aims to offer new business opportunities to foreign companies.
From 24 to 26 March 2021, the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) and Voka Mechelen-Kempen Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCI) organized a 3-day virtual trade mission to Hainan. During the first two days, the participating Belgian companies had the chance to learn about the beneficial policies of the Hainan Free Trade Port (FTP) and get information about the China International Consumer Products Expo (or Hainan Expo). Additionally, several speakers gave presentations on cross-border e-commerce, marketing in China and case studies. On the third and final day, a virtual B2B matchmaking event was held, during which the Belgian companies had the chance to meet with potential Chinese partners in one-on-one meetings.