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China's Hainan province intends to actively develop trade, medicine and education

Hainan aims to become an international hub for tourism and shopping, with the island consistently developing a network of duty-free shops to achieve this

HAIKOU /China/, November 18. /TASS/. The southern Chinese province of Hainan will actively develop duty-free trade as well as international medical and educational services industries. That's according to the region's development plan for 2021-2025.

Hainan aims to become an international center for tourism and consumption. This is why the island is consistently developing a network of duty-free shops. Sales in such shops grew 121% year-on-year to 35.5 billion yuan (about $5.5 billion) in the three quarters of this year. According to the plan, the province's tourism industry is expected to account for 17.8% of the domestic regional product by 2025.

Hainan's medical services industry is primarily developing in the Lecheng International Medical Tourism Zone. In the next five years this cluster will actively develop high-end professional medical facilities. Local researchers will focus on stem and immune cell research, gene therapy, and other new developments in biomedicine. According to the authorities' plan, Lecheng will attract some 500,000 foreign clients by 2025.

When it comes to international education development, Hainan aims to increase the number of foreign students studying in the province to 10,000. By that time, some 15 international secondary schools and kindergartens will open here, as well as at least three representative offices of foreign universities.

In April 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the establishment of a pilot zone and free trade port on Hainan. The programme aims to bring the island into the process of globalization and international labor distribution, laying a solid foundation for innovation. The provincial government is creating an attractive environment for investors and building an advanced research infrastructure.

According to the government's plan, by 2050, the region will become a unique international cluster with an advanced economy, home to campuses of leading universities, advanced laboratories and headquarters of global corporations.