CHINA - China's marine economy is rising steadily with the help of new developments in marine technologies, said Liu Cigui, head of the State Oceanic Administration, at the opening of the China Beijing International High-Tech Expo.
The marine industry generated 5.4 trillion yuan ($860 billion) in 2013, up 7.6 per cent from 2012, according to a report from the State Oceanic Administration. Marine revenue accounted for 9.5 per cent of the nation's GDP in 2013.
The country listed provinces and cities including Shandong, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong and Tianjin as key areas for the industry.
In recent years, these areas have worked with the central government on a series of financial projects to support marine technology research and develop an industrial cluster, said Liu.
"A 70-billion-yuan investment from every fabric of society has been gathered to further develop the marine economy and technology, generating a lot of jobs for local people," said Liu.
The National Development and Reform Commission and the State Oceanic Administration built high-tech demonstration bases in eight key cities.
Liu said that technology was leading marine economy development. "There are some huge breakthroughs in the technology sector. They are very mature and industrialized, taking the whole industry into a new level," he said.
Liu said examples of this included the expansion of aquaculture into deep sea, which requires higher-level facilities and technology.
The industrial added value of marine pharmacognosy in 2013 increased by 20.7 percent. A series of ocean energy and ocean wind power projects are underway and the Jiaolong deep-sea research submersible dove down 7,000 meters in 2012.
The China Ocean Mineral Resources R&D Association started a new deep-sea resource exploration project with the International Seabed Authority last month, said Liu.
China was the first country to initiate exploration projects of three types of deep-sea resources.
In this year's Beijing international high-tech expo an exhibition called To the Deep-sea will showcase the latest developments in marine economy and technology.
National and international institutions, universities and companies attended the exhibition. Forums and seminars will also offer the latest information and business opportunities from the industry.
The number of national institutions exhibiting rose this year, according to a spokesman from the science sector of the State Oceanic Administration. High-tech facilities for deep-sea exploration are also on display.
The State Oceanic Administration has stepped up efforts to restructure strategies and plans to work more sustainably.
"China's deep-sea exploration is at a very early phase. In order to sharpen its competitive edge to compete with foreign counterparts, innovation in technology is very important," said Liu. The oceanic administration will work out detailed policies and plans to lead the development of marine technology.
Platforms like the international high-tech expo are expected to increase to help transfer marine technology into economic profits.
The key marine areas around the country are also expected to develop funds and preferential policies to support emerging industries related to the marine economy.
Liu said that the central government should work with local governments on policy making and production base developing.
"Policies in capital, lands and tax should all be preferential to emerging industries, promoting the importance of innovation in the economy," he said.
A series of new projects on ecological protection and pollution prevention are underway, said Liu. There are plans for a demonstration zone in the Bohai Sea where ocean development projects will be carried out in a sustainable way.
More cooperative projects with ASEAN member countries are expected to further develop the "maritime Silk Road", said Liu. Events like the high-tech expo are also expected to generate more multinational project deals.
TheFishSite News Desk