Sector floats into calmer waters

Updated: 2015-03-19 07:33

By Peng Yining(China Daily)

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China's maritime industries shifted to the "new normal" in 2014, with slower but more sustainable growth, according to the annual maritime economic statistics report released by the State Oceanic Administration on Wednesday.

The report said the country's offshore oil and gas industry generated 153 billion yuan ($24.7 billion), a drop of 5.9 percent over the previous year. The sea salt industry was valued at 6.3 billion yuan, a drop of 0.4 percent.

The shipping market has been experiencing an extended downturn, according to the report, although the oceanic transportation industry was stable last year but with slower growth.

"China's economy has in general entered a new normal, characterized by slower speed, but higher quality, of growth," said Zhang Zhanhai, senior official from the oceanic administration. "Our maritime economy and related industries have entered the same stage."

Zhang said the "new normal" stage brings maritime industries a new era of opportunities and reform.

He said the industries should speed up the transformation of their economic growth model and give new impetus to their improvement and upgrading.

Zhang said the 13th Five-Year Plan, from 2016 to 2020, will see China's maritime industries becoming more tech-driven and environment-oriented. The traditional low-cost manufacturing basis of the economy was no longer sustainable, he said.

In addition, Zhang said China's maritime economy still had a solid growth in 2014, despite the global economic downturn.

The output of offshore oil rose by 1.6 percent and gas by 11.3 percent. The maritime mining industry totaled 5.3 billion yuan, a rise of 13 percent. Income from tourism in coastal areas reached 888.2 billion yuan in 2014, a rise of 12.1 percent.

The GDP of China's maritime industry reached 5.99 trillion yuan, an increase of 7.7 percent over the previous year, and accounted for 9.4 percent of China's total GDP. The maritime economy and related industries offered jobs to more than 35.5 million people, the report said.

"The strategy of developing the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road entered the implementation phase, and will bring the maritime economy an unprecedented opportunity," said Shi Qingfeng, spokesman for the oceanic administration.

Sector floats into calmer waters

(China Daily 03/19/2015 page4)