The initiative was announced last Friday to coincide with President Xi Jinping's visit to Haikou, the provincial capital, to mark the 30th anniversary of Hainan's establishment as a province since it was separated from Guangdong in 1988.
Hainan, an island province of China and the nation's southernmost point, has been given full support to build up both the Hainan trade pilot zone and free trade port by the central government, to help open up and improve the business environment, Yicai.com reported. Xi did not specify what the change entailed, but said Hainan should become a pilot zone for deeper reform and opening up as well as for building "ecological civilisation".
With its pleasant climate and sandy beaches, Hainan is often described as "China's Hawaii" and the official plan also involves turning the island into a global tourism hotspot, South China Morning Post reported. Exchanges in worldwide energy, shipping, commodities and carbon trading will also be established. The island will also focus on developing modern service industries such as tourism, the internet, health care, finance and hosting conferences and exhibitions.
This will include measures to make it easier for overseas talent to find work and acquire permanent residency there. Also, foreign students who have obtained master's degrees will be allowed to start their own companies.
The Chinese government plan for Hainan did not mention gambling or casinos. The property market began to grow again and infrastructure - including motorways, a high-speed rail line and a new airport - were added.
Hainan also accounts for about half of China's rubber output.