China's Hainan FTZ makes major progress in its first year
Updated 15:36, 13-Apr-2019
Last year it was announced that south China's island province of Hainan would be developed into the country's 12th pilot free trade zone. 
The province has witnessed major progress in the past 12 months in this regard.
Local officials last year said that the first round of 12 pilot projects has been started, including Hainan free trade account system (HNFT). 
Different from the previous requirement of maintaining two accounts separately for domestic and international transactions, the HNFT replaces them with a unified account with yuan as the base currency, designed to facilitate investment, financing and cross-border transactions in the free trade zone. 
Official data also showed that by the end of last year, the new free trade zone had seen 54 new projects starting construction or operation. 
Hainan's efforts in improving the business environment have brought a surge in new market entities. 
From April 2018 to January 2019, there have been more than 100,000 new market entities in the province with a 23.1 percent year-on-year growth. 
The new free trade zone has also attracted great talent. By the end of December 2018, more than 30,000 talents had applied to register their household in the tropical island province. 
China's first pilot FTZ was set up in Shanghai in 2013. Since then, China has established a total of 12 FTZs, with the latest addition being Hainan, which received approval last April to build a pilot FTZ covering the whole island province.