China's southern island province of Hainan saw its foreign trade surge 46.1 percent year-on-year to reach 58.5 billion yuan (about $9 billion) in the first half of this year, local authorities said Tuesday.
Imports soared 69.5 percent to 44.4 billion yuan while exports edged up 1.9 percent to 14.1 billion yuan, according to Wang Yu, deputy head of the Hainan provincial bureau of statistics.
Over the period, Hainan used $950 million of foreign investment, up 623.6 percent year-on-year. The province also saw its service trade volume grow 81.2 percent to 13.7 billion yuan in the period.
China released a master plan last June to build Hainan into a globally influential and high-level free trade port by the middle of the century. The island province has so far implemented a slew of preferential policies such as visa-free entry and offshore duty-free shopping to boost trade.