Gibraltar Chronicle Logo
Local News

Isola keynote speaker in China blockchain forum

The Minister for Commerce Albert Isola was the keynote speaker at the Hainan Free Trade Zone Global Digital Economic Cooperation Forum in China this week.

Mr Isola was invited to speak at the event and was joined by Gibraltar Finance Senior Executives Paul Astengo and Michael Ashton.

The forum at the Ritz-Carlton, Haikou, focused on the digital economy, China’s "Belt and Road" initiative, and digital trade – bringing together leading global officials as well as visionaries from China’s academic, business, and investment spheres.

The Hainan Free Trade Pilot Zone represents a key gateway for China to implement innovation-driven development strategies, increase engagement in cutting-edge areas such as the digital economy, and build a world class “free digital port”.

The blockchain pilot zone of the Hainan Free Trade Zone (Port) has been established to promote the adoption of blockchain technology, and encourage the development of new industries.

Mr Isola said: “This forum gives expression to the strong spirit of collaboration that is central to sustaining blockchain development globally, as well as China’s increased engagement with the international DLT community.”

“Gibraltar’s representation here in Hainan underlines our commitment to the pursuit of regulatory advances, mutually beneficial business cooperation, and investment opportunities.”

According to the officials Chinese state-owned news agency Xinhua, the Hainan province on Wednesday released a set of measures to speed up the development of the blockchain sector in the South China province.

The measures, released by China's first blockchain pilot zone in the Hainan pilot free trade zone (FTZ), will support the blockchain industry through talent cultivation, technological application, social investment and other aspects, Xhinua reported.

Efforts will be made to employ blockchain technology in multiple areas such as housing, healthcare, tourism and trade, with a special fund of 1 billion yuan (about 142 million U.S. dollars) set up to finance blockchain companies, it added.

According to the news agency, the pilot zone has so far accommodated more than 100 blockchain organizations and companies and is one of the fastest-growing blockchain clusters across the country.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has issued an implementation plan to support Hainan with the construction of the pilot FTZ and a free trade port with Chinese characteristics, which covers 17 specific areas including the development of the blockchain industry.