Jan. 17 – In order to exploit its massive “oceanic productivity potential,” the Chinese eastern coastal province of Zhejiang is looking to establish a special RMB1 billion fund for the development of its oceanic economy, and another separate RMB1 billion fund for the promotion of its oceanic industries.
The RMB2 billion investment will mainly focus on the advancement of emerging oceanic industries, the development as well as protection of important islands, the expansion of bulk commodity exchange centers, and the improvement of port logistics information interconnection as well as interchange throughout Northeast Asia.
The launch of the new funds follows the State Council’s approval early last year for building an Oceanic Economy Development Demonstration Area (OEDDA) in Zhejiang, which covers a sea area of 260,000 square kilometers and a land area of 35,000 square kilometers.
The State Council also promoted Zhoushan – the archipelago located in northeastern Zhejiang – into a state-level New Area last year, revealing the central government’s strong determination to raise the region’s oceanic economy to national strategic heights. In addition to the newly-included Zhoushan archipelago, China’s state-level New Area treatment has only been given to three other regions so far – namely the Pudong New Area in Shanghai Municipality, the Binhai New Area in Tianjin Municipality, and the Liangjiang New Area in Chongqing Municipality.
Aimed to become a center for bulk commodity exchange and a base for a series of modern oceanic industries, Zhoushan – together with the rest of Zhejiang Province – welcomes investments from both Chinese private companies and foreign companies, said Lü Zushan, the then-governor of Zhejiang Province.
Zhejiang also plays a major role in the national initiative of developing uninhabited islands in China’s coastal areas. In the first list of 176 uninhabited islands open to private investment (rolled out by the State Oceanic Administration in April last year), Zhejiang accounted for 31 of them. Investors who receive government approval, or win in the bidding process, will have the right to use the uninhabited island for up to 50 years, and will be allowed to develop the island in different ways – such as developing tourism, transportation, industries, warehousing, fishing, farming, renewable energy, urban/rural construction and public relations services.
It is estimated that by 2013, the ocean-related production in the OEDDA will reach RMB520 billion, taking up 14.5 percent of Zhejiang’s provincial GDP. By 2015, the figure will increase to RMB700 billion, contributing to roughly 16 percent of the total provincial GDP.
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This article was first published on China Briefing.
Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has grown into one of Asia’s most versatile full-service consultancies with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam as well as liaison offices in Italy and the United States.