Hainan Monthly Special: Hainan: High hopes for marine economy
Updated: 2013-03-15 07:47
By Huang Yiming and Li Fusheng (China Daily)
Hainan delegation enters the Great Hall of the People for the 12th National People's Congress in Beijing earlier this month. Wang Kai / For China Daily
China's southernmost province of Hainan is stepping up effort to further develop its marine economy and meet goals set in 2013, said local officials.
In its work report, the provincial government lists developing the marine economy as one of its priorities in 2013, with its percentage of the island's GDP expected to be at least 27 percent for the year.
Luo Baoming, the province's top political leader, said developing the oceanic economy is instrumental in conserving resources and relieving the energy and environmental pressures that a land-based economy faces.
A marine economy also yields higher added value and will improve the province's industrial structure, Luo added.
The ambition is fueled by Hainan's location and rich marine resources, said officials.
Facing Guangdong province across the Qiongzhou Strait, Hainan has more than 2 million square kilometers of marine territory in its jurisdiction, almost two-thirds of the country's total.
After years of development, some marine industries have begun to take shape, including fishing, seashore tourism, marine transport, and offshore petroleum and gas, according to local officials.
Official statistics show that the province's sea-based GDP reached 61.2 billion yuan ($9.83 billion) in 2011, almost half of it from fishing.
The industry harvested about 1.7 million tons of aquatic products, with Hainan ranking first across the country in seafood exports to Europe in the year.
The provincial government is also developing Hainan's infrastructure to enhance its fame as an international tourist destination.
By the end of 2011, the province had 400 berths at four international-standard yacht piers. The number is expected to reach 13,500 in the next five years, according to the local Hainan Daily newspaper.
Hainan is also witnessing rapid development in its seaborne transport industry, the report said.
The combined cargo throughput at Hainan's ports exceeded 100 million tons by the end of 2011, the number expected to double by 2015, said the newspaper.
With the construction of large oil refineries and ethylene processing facilities, the Yangpu Economic Development Zone is becoming one of China's centers of petroleum and gas processing as well as a repository for refined petroleum.
The establishment of Sansha, an entirely new city, also offers a great opportunity for Hainan to further boost its marine economy, said Hainan Governor Jiang Dingzhi at a provincial meeting in 2012.
Since Sansha was founded, a series of programs such as shipbuilding, port construction and marine ecological restoration have begun according to local officials.
The government has also drafted a long-term development plan for its marine economy that projects Hainan's sea-based GDP will hit 109.8 billion yuan by 2015, double the figure in 2010, and 230.6 billion yuan by 2020, accounting for more than 35 percent of the province's GDP.
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(China Daily 03/15/2013 page16)