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Marine economy makes a splash as shipping and tourism set to grow

By YUAN SHENGGAO| China Daily| Updated: November 27, 2020 L M S

Xiamen has set out to be a pioneer city in ocean development by 2025 and a world-class center of the marine economy by 2035 to better support China's maritime power strategy and the Belt and Road Initiative, according to local officials.

Hu Changsheng, Party secretary of Xiamen, said the instructions of State leaders have set a development direction for the city. Business opportunities are emerging as people are paying greater attention to ocean development and protection. Xiamen's abundant marine resources are a foundation for the city to become a pioneer in marine industry in China, he added.

According to Xiamen's proposal for formulating the 14th Five-Year Development Plan (2021-25) of marine economy, the marine industry will contribute more than 30 percent of the total GDP of Xiamen by 2025. The total number of containers handled by ports in Xiamen will reach 14 million twenty-foot equivalent units. Xiamen will be an international shipping center and a world-famous cruise port.

By 2035, the marine industry's contribution to GDP will increase to 35 percent. Ports in Xiamen will handle 20 million TEUs of containers. Xiamen will be a marine tourism center; a marine cultural exchange center among countries and regions taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative; a regional marine technology innovation center; and a global benchmark in ocean environment restoration. It will also boast world-class ports, according to Hu.

Xiamen reported strong growth in ocean economy during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20).

Emerging sectors in the marine industry of Xiamen reported 50.2 billion yuan ($7.6 billion) of industrial added value in 2019. It accounted for 30.5 percent of the total marine industrial output value of Xiamen.

The city has established industrial clusters centered on marine creature seedlings, marine biopharmaceuticals and functional food. Technological breakthroughs have been reported in electric information, instruments and equipment development.

Xiamen has been restoring and protecting its marine ecology as part of efforts to promote high-quality development. It has planted 254,000 square meters of mangrove in Haicang Bay. Nearly all offshore aquaculture businesses along its coastline were removed and about 50 square kilometers of mud, not originally belonging to the region, were cleared.

Xiamen also spared no efforts in enhancing its innovation capacity. It has established one of the largest deepsea creature gene banks in the world. A total of 15 new public innovation support platforms were put into use in 2019.

Xiamen has reported outstanding results in promoting marine tourism development and international cooperation. Dozens of forums and expos were held in the city for global experts to exchange ideas and support regional development in the last few years.

Why Xiamen

  • About Xiamen

    Xiamen is one of the most economically competitive cities in China and was one of the first Special Economic Zones on the Chinese mainland. As a vice-provincial city independently listed on the State development plan, it has provincial-level authority in economic administration and local legislative power. In 2010, the Xiamen SEZ was expanded to cover the entire municipality. Today, Xiamen is a modern and international port city.

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