On April 13, China’s central government announced that it would support Hainan province to build a free trade zone (FTZ) and explore to gradually transform it into a free trade port with Chinese characteristics. Thanks to such governmental endorsement, Hainan has attracted more than 60 leading companies at home and abroad and inked with them agreements on investment and cooperation, among them State-owned ones, including China Travel Service Group, China COSCO Shipping Corp, and Sinochem Group; private behemoths, including Tencent Group, JD Group. Foreign tycoons include Temasek, KPMG, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and DTZ Holdings.
The FTZ is located in Haikou Jiangdong New District. It lies in the center of comprehensive economic integration circle, and links three cities, Haikou, Chengmai and Wenchang. Rivers, lakes and wetlands all contribute to the robust ecology of the district. In addition, the district boasts transportation convenience bolstered by Meilan International Airport and enough land resources. All these lays a solid foundation for construction and development at more integrated and higher levels.
The new district covers an area of 298 Km2, split into two parts, an area covering 106 m2 as a wetland natural reserve, another 192 m2 for industrial and urban ends. The new venue will be playing a role in international trading of energy, bulk commodities, property rights and etc. According to construction plans of the province, it would like to attract a slew of enterprises both in tangible goods and intangible goods. And companies show interest in conducting project construction are required to roll out conceptual designs that can fit in with their own styles and local conditions of the district and their works need up to 2 months for final appraisal. On the list of candidates are Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning&Design Institute, and seven others mainly run or lead by foreign entities.
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What impresses designers is Hainan’s stance towards environment protection and ecological innovation really impresses designers, which also poses great demands for them in pursuing a harmonious integration, of human and environment, of old part of the city and its new part. Mayor Ding Hui, also director of the leadership office for the Jiangdong New District, expresses his wish that, designers give full play to their global insights to help build Jiangdong into a quality city of world vision. According to Fu Xuanchao, director of development and reform commission, construction of the project is scheduled to complete in seven years.
What’s mentioning is that, the province also announced an action plan on talent introduction, in a bid to foster a bank of talented workers who can underpin not only construction of the FTZ, and also the province’s grander vision of holistic development.