Nightview of Sanya bay in Hainan province. (Photo: VCG)
Hainan is offering housing incentives to attract talent to the tropical island province, where the country's 12th free trade zone－its largest－is being created.
A notice from the provincial government on Friday said the employees of companies that move their headquarters to the island will enjoy the same housing policies and credit support as locals when buying a house, even though they don't have household registration in Hainan.
The supplementary measure, which is intended to address problems of new employees settling in the Hainan FTZ, will improve the business environment, attract investors, promote opening-up and development of headquarters, and optimize the living environment, local officials said.
In April last year, after the central government said Hainan would become a pilot free trade zone, the island announced it would attract 1 million skilled workers. To accomplish that, it has adopted measures to support free housing for topnotch personnel, child education, spousal employment, medical insurance and car purchases.
Hainan also announced an islandwide housing quota－regarded as the strictest in the country－to curb speculation. The new rules required those who do not live on the island but want to buy houses to provide local tax records for the past 60 months from at least one member of the applicant's family－making it impossible for nonnative residents to buy a home there.
"The latest move to help newcomers buy a home will make talented people feel more at ease and work more wholeheartedly," said Xia Feng, director of the economic research department of the China Institute for Reform and Development.
"The government should also promote the rental housing market for those who cannot afford to buy, and cultivate more diversified business platforms to attract talent from outside the island," he said.
Wang Lu, chairman of Jincheng Consultancy, a Haikou-based real estate information provider, said that because of the province's small population base and weak economic and industrial foundation, investment and talent attraction are two urgent issues for the development of the FTZ.
Since April last year, 65,000 market entities have entered Hainan, up 33 percent year-on-year. Twenty-seven of the world's top 500 companies have landed in Hainan, including Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomas Cook, Sinopec, Alibaba and Tencent, said Fu Xuanchao, director of the provincial Development and Reform Commission.