The first negative list in the free trade port in south China's Hainan Province only contains 27 items, fewer than that of the free trade zones (FTZs), the commerce ministry said during a special meeting on FTZ construction on Wednesday.
The negative list for FTZs has been reduced to 30 items, a significant decrease from the 122 listed at the beginning of the 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP) period (2016-2020).
China issued the first negative list for Hainan's free trade port in December 2020, but it did not go into effect until February 2021. The country has been working on reducing its negative lists, or lists of industries where foreign companies either cannot invest or are restricted, to facilitate overseas investment.
According to the commerce ministry, 17 pilot FTZs were built during the 13th FYP period, bringing the total number to 21 in the country.
A total of 393,000 new enterprises were set up in 18 pilot FTZs in 2020, generating 176.4 billion yuan (about $27.3 billion) in foreign direct investment in actual use last year, which accounted for 17.6 percent of the foreign investment in China, data showed.
In 2020, the new companies realized 4.7 trillion yuan in foreign trade investment, representing 14.7 percent of the country's total, the ministry said.
The pilot FTZs also formulated 173 institutional innovations during the 13th FYP period, which were replicated across the country.
On the free trade port side, the ministry said the construction of the Hainan free trade port, the country's first such port, has been advancing steadily. In June 2020, China announced its master plan for developing the port into a globally influential duty-free trading center by the middle of the century.
Starting from July 1, 2020, Hainan increased its annual tax-free shopping quota from 30,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan per person. The categories of duty-free goods have also been expanded from 38 to 45.
The duty-free sales of the port hit 19.99 billion yuan by the end of 2020, up 191.6 percent year on year, Haikou Customs data showed.