The National Development and Reform Commission and the State Oceanic Administration have recently jointly issued the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) on Maritime Economic Development.
Fang Jianmeng, vice director of the State Oceanic Administration, explained the plan in an interview with the People’s Daily.
The following are some excerpts of the interview:
The plan is formulated out of the strategic need for building China into a strong maritime power and expanding the space for blue economy. Currently 90 percent of China’s foreign trade is transported by sea.
The plan centers on construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road with the aim of fostering pivots for marine economy and enhancing marine industrial investment and trade as well as marine S&T and cultural exchanges and cooperation. It also lays out supporting measures for foreign investment services in maritime economic development.
The plan will address the problems faced by China’s maritime economy, such as the lack of balance, coordination and sustainability, as well as increasing pressures on marine ecological environment carrying capacity.
According to the plan, China needs to make breakthroughs in the following areas:
China needs to enhance its marine economic strength and increase its international influence, and boost economic growth of its coastal regions through maritime economy.
China needs to inject new dynamics into the traditional industries with new technologies and mechanisms. Scientific and technological innovation should be enhanced and new driving forces, such as marine biological medicine, seawater desalination, modern marine services and other newly-emerging industries, should be fostered to boost development of maritime economy.
Special attention should be paid to protecting the marine ecology and environment, which are valuable natural resources for development of fishing and tourism industries.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan period between 2016 and 2020, China will build 10 to 20 marine economy demonstration zones to explore the new thoughts and modes on optimizing the maritime economy spatial layout, constructing modern marine industry systems, strengthening ocean-related infrastructure, improving marine public service systems, building a blue eco- security shield and innovating comprehensive marine administration systems.