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12/08/2021 14:53

The future of worldwide luxury shopping will never look the same again. Chinese citizens who were concentering their spending power for luxury shopping, including wine & spirits abroad, now have their one shopping Capital in the duty-free “Haven Island” of Hainan.

The establishment of Hainan Province and a creation of Hainan Special Economic Zone can be dated back to 1988. In 2018, on the 30th anniversary of the founding date, President Xi Jinping announced the support of the government in building a pilot free trade port there, which would be the largest special economic zone in China and the only one in the world with Chinese characteristics and controlled by the Chinese Government.

By 2025 Hainan will be a free port system focusing on liberalized trade and investments. To attract new visitors, the annual tax-free shopping quota in Hainan has been moved from 30,000 to 100,000 yuan per person. At the same time, the range of duty-free goods has been expanded from 38 categories to 45, now including alcoholic beverages and electronic products.

According to Haikou Customs from the 1st of July 2020 and the 30th of June 2021, offshore duty-free sales on Hainan Island marked an increase of +226% year on year and reached 46.8 billion RMB (US$7.24 billion), and the tourist number marked + 102% reaching a 6,82 million presence.

Wine & spirits are on the top of the list of interests among customers with promising prospects for the global alcoholic beverage market. Top global wine & spirit companies, merchants and even single wineries are rushing to open duty-free shops and boutiques there. Indeed wine, beer, liquors, sake, other fermented beverages and imported spirits are now available to domestic consumers with the limit of 1,500ml in total.

Retail stores in Hainan have also introduced an extensive range of limited-edition products and exclusive and organized themed promotion for the Chinese state-owned Duty-Free Group (CDFG). By 2025 the coverage duty-free zone is expected to be extended to the entire province, making it one of the largest tourism retail markets in the world.

Han Shengjian, Director of Hainan IEDB (Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development) affirms: “We have an ambition to build Hainan into a place with the highest degree of openness in the world. By 2025 the island will be fully duty free with all goods duty-exempted”, and adds: “In 2035 the island will have free and convenient trade investment, capital flow, investment and with a free orderly transfer of data. By 2050 Hainan FTP (free trade port) will be one of the most developed Free Trade Ports in the world”.

Sabrina Anastasi