China plans to build from 10 to 20 marine economy demonstration zones during the 13thFive-Year Plan period (2016-2020), according to a recent plan jointly issued by theNational Development and Reform Commission and the State Oceanic Administration.
Sixty-percent of China’s economy relies on foreign trade, and 90 percent of the country’sforeign trade is transported by sea. The plan is based on China’s strategic need to build thecountry into a strong maritime power and to expand China’s emerging “blue economy.”
According to Fang Jianmeng, vice director of the SOA, the country needs to strengthen itsmaritime economic strength and increase its international influence, and rely on themaritime economy to boost the growth of its coastal regions.
The plan stresses innovation, requiring the country to inject new dynamics into traditionalindustries with new technologies and methods. Scientific and technological innovationshould be enhanced and new driving forces, such as marine biological medicine, seawaterdesalination, modern marine services, and other newly emerging industries, should befostered to boost the maritime economy.
The plan called for special attention to be paid to protecting marine ecology andenvironment, which are valuable natural resources for the development of fishing andtourism industries.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan, China will build 10 to 20 marine economy demonstrationzones in order to explore how to best optimize the layout of maritime economy, constructmodern marine industry systems, strengthen ocean-related infrastructure, improvemarine public service systems, build a blue eco-security shield, and innovate marineadministration systems.