In order to assist market entities in capitalizing on RCEP’s auxiliary tools and public products and provide targeted services for enterprises, the “three lists” of Hainan’s competitive import and export products under RCEP, compiled by relevant professional institutions as commissioned by the Department of Commerce of Hainan Province, were officially released on November 17. It is reported that the “three lists” refer to the List of Hainan’s Competitive Export Products under RCEP, the List of Hainan’s Competitive Import Products under RCEP, and the List of Competitive “Zero-Tariff” Products of Hainan Free Trade Port.
The List of Hainan’s Competitive Import Products under RCEP mainly focuses on imports. A total of 241 categories in which Hainan has competitive import advantage were selected from the 29,000 categories of China’s newly added competitive import products (with lower import tariffs) under RCEP. The categories are mostly concentrated in textile, mechanical and electrical products, base metals and their products, watches and clocks, medical devices, chemical products and other industries.
The List of Competitive “Zero-Tariff” Products of Hainan Free Trade Port primarily focuses on the comparison of Hainan’s “zero tariff” policy with the RCEP. This list included products with lower import tariffs under the “zero tariff” policy of Hainan Free Trade Port than under the RCEP. In other words, it included imported products for which Hainan holds more competitive advantages than other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. Through analysis, there are a total of 1,674 categories of competitive products on the List of Competitive “Zero-Tariff” Products of Hainan Free Trade Port, including 92 categories of means of transport and yachts, 241 categories of raw and auxiliary materials, and 1,341 categories of self-use production equipment. It is worthwhile for relevant foreign trade enterprises and manufacturing enterprises processing value-added products to prioritize, study and use this list.
“The table of tariff concessions for the RCEP is a complicated one with a total of 37 pairs of commitment concessions since member states generally use bilateral ‘bidding in pairs’ for commitments on tariff concessions.. The table is almost one meter thick if printed on A3 size paper. It is no easy job to have a complete grasp of it,” said a relevant responsible person from the Department of Commerce of Hainan Province. The “three lists” released are intended to help more enterprises to find the optimal solution amidst multiple trade agreements intertwined with each other in the RCEP region, help more market entities in Hainan to better capitalize on the RCEP agreement, and contribute to Hainan’s import and export trade development as well as the upgrading of industrial structure.
It is learned that since the beginning of this year, Hainan has launched the RCEP policy column,the Hainan RCEP tariff inquiry platform, and the RCEP Enterprise Service Center of Hainan Free Trade Port, and compiled the RCEP manual with 100 O&A as well as tariff guidelines, etc. in a bid to help market entities in the province to make full and good use of the RCEP agreement, and significant progress has been made. From January to September this year, the import and export volume of goods between Hainan and RCEP member states reached 51.44 billion yuan, with a 24.2% year-on-year increase, 16.2 percentage points higher than the national average, and accounting for 35.82% of Hainan’s total volume of foreign trade in goods over the same period; Hainan put on record 31 enterprises that made new investment in RCEP member states, up by a significant 72.22% increase over the previous year; the actual investment totaled US$383 million, a year-on-year increase of 117.6%.
As the dividend of policy on Hainan Free Trade Port gradually emerges, RCEP member states are also moving faster to plan for development in Hainan. From January to September this year, a total of 141 foreign-funded enterprises from RCEP member states, mainly Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, settled in Hainan. Singapore Raffles (Hainan) Medical and Wellness Center, Singapore Wilmar Group’s comprehensive Yihai Kerry edible oil processing and central kitchen, Singapore Golden International Group’s BREATHE high-end natural plant coating manufacturing, South Korean BioPlus Biotechnology’s processing and manufacturing project, etc. have settled in Hainan to share the development opportunities presented by Hainan Free Trade Port and carry out win-win cooperation.