Marine economy to grow 13% annually in 2011-2015
Updated: 2011-03-08 10:31
BEIJING - China's marine economy is expected to grow at an annual rate of more than 13 percent in the next five years, Liu Cigui, director of the State Oceanic Administration, said Monday.
"Development of the industry has just started in China," Liu told Xinhua in an exclusive interview, saying the country "has a bright future in its marine economy".
To further explore oceanic resources, China's deep-diving manned submersible vessel "Jiaolong" will attempt to dive to a depth of 5,000 meters this year after it successfully reached 3,759 meters under the sea last year.
As the first manned vehicle in the world designed to reach 7,000 meters below sea level, the submersible can be used in 99.8 percent of world's sea areas, according to the vehicle's chief designer Xu Qinan.
China's oceanic industry recorded an annual increase of 13 percent in the past five years to top 3.8 trillion yuan ($579 billion) last year and employed more than 33 million people.
However, the marine economy accounts for no more than 10 percent of China's gross domestic product (GDP), and it is mainly centered on traditional sectors such as fishing, transport and tourism, which together account for two-thirds of the total marine output.
China has abundant marine resources, with its 3 million square kilometers of offshore waters and 32,000 kilometers of coastline. China also has a proven marine oil reserve of 24.6 billion tons and natural gas reserves of 1.6 billion cubic meters.
Premier Wen Jiabao said Saturday in the government work report draft for this year that the country will boost the marine economy and emphasize the balance between land and sea.
The State Council on January 4 approved a development plan for the country's first ocean economic zone in the coastal province of Shandong, in an effort to bolster marine economy.
"Since China has just started developing its marine economy, environmental issues should be closely watched," Liu said.
The central and local governments have issued laws and regulations on environmental evaluation, "highly polluting projects should be banned," he said, urging citizens to join in environmental protection.
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