Hong Kong finance expertise to speed development of Hainan

 

Hainan, the southernmost Chinese island that Beijing plans to transform into a tourism centre and target for foreign investments, aims to strengthen ties with Hong Kong to help companies with their initial public offerings and fundraising activities in the city.

Hainan Development and Reform Commission will give licences to Hong Kong’s hospitals and professionals to operate in China’s first zone designed to attract overseas patients.

Once remote and underdeveloped, Hainan has been edging closer to its goal of becoming an international tourist resort by 2020 and has become increasingly attractive to investors at home and abroad. Hainan has the world's first high-speed train line circling an island and 157 five-star hotels.

Hainan Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone is the first of its kind in China. It enjoys many preferential polices, including special permission for medical talent, technology, devices and drugs, and an allowance for entrance of foreign capital and international communications. The project integrates medical services, wellness, pharmaceuticals, scientific research, rehabilitation, senior care, and tourism in an area dedicated to energy conservation and environmental protection. The goal is to become a world-class medical and wellness destination before the end of this decade.

It has been claimed that 39 hospitals and clinics will open in Hainan to attract both domestic and overseas medical tourists. But so far few hospitals have opened and progress on construction of a few others is slow. The China Institute for Reform and Development, a research institution in Hainan, says that Hainan still lags in healthcare and education.

To speed up development, the Chinese government has a raft of new measures to help investors and potential overseas patients. Greater visa-free access has been offered to tourists from 59 countries to Hainan from May, allowing group and individual tourists to stay there for up to 30 days on condition that they book their tour through travel agencies.  However, a major factor holding back foreign tourists from visiting Hainan is expensive air ticket prices.

Another new measure allows the Hainan local government to approve imports of medical instruments that have no alternatives on the domestic market and are urgently needed for clinical uses in hospitals in the zone.

View the IMTJ in-depth analysis of inbound medical tourism to China.

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