Ocean economy set to make waves on Belt and Road

By Dai Tian | | Updated: 2017-05-17 13:56

Ocean economy set to make waves on Belt and Road

Visitors look at an equipment for ocean exploration during the China (Qingdao) International Ocean Science & Technology Exhibition in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, Sept 26, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's three marine economic circles are set to play a bigger role in the Belt and Road Initiative, with the country's gross ocean output projected to account for 9.5 percent of GDP by 2020, according to an industrial plan.

With the economic circles in the North, East and South now taking shape, the country aims to further promote Shanghai and Shenzhen as pivotal seaside cities across the world, according to the 13th Five-Year Plan for the development of ocean economy released by the National Development and Reform Commission.

Shanghai port and Shenzhen port were the two busiest in the country by container handling last year.

China will step up collaboration with countries along the Belt and Road through the ocean economic circles, the plan noted.

The country's gross ocean output surged to 7 trillion yuan last year, and is expected to grow at 7 percent by 2020, the 21st Century Economic Herald reported on Wednesday

The three major circles have different roles and advantages, according to the newspaper. While the north retains a history of marine research and the south is flushed with ocean resources, the economic circle in the East is equipped with advanced ports and is highly export-oriented.

Developing ocean economy helps transform the Belt and Road Initiative into practice, Yu Hongsheng, head of the cities and population development institute at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the newspaper.

"The ocean's function goes beyond economic ones. It traverses fishery, marine manufacturing and shipping, with the latter also including logistics, distribution and other services," Yu said.

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