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Zhoushan's maritime economy sets sail for strong growth

By Ma Zhenhuan in Hangzhou | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-09-17 14:13
A huge vessel with four gantry cranes docks at a wharf of the Zhoushan port, which is considered the largest wharf in China. With the start of the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Zhoushan is expected to transfer storage and transportation to value-added processing trade. [Photo by Yao Feng / For China Daily]

The island city of Zhoushan has taken every opportunity to build a modern marine industrial system upheld by port-centered manufacturing, green petrochemicals, port logistics and ocean tourism industries, said Yu Donglai, a top official of the city.

The Party chief of Zhoushan made his remarks on Sept 10 in Hangzhou at a news conference focusing on achievements the city has made over the past 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Zhoushan is now one of the cities with the strongest maritime economies, said Yu. He said the port cargo handled by the city leaped from 2.96 million metric tons in 1987 to 508 million tons last year, and that the Ningbo-Zhoushan Port now ranks first in the world in terms of cargo turnover.

Driven by strong maritime growth, the city's regional GDP increased from 40 million yuan ($5.62 million) in 1951 to 131.67 billion yuan last year.

Statistics showed that the GDP per capita grew to 112,500 yuan, ranking Zhoushan third among other cities in Zhejiang. Fiscal revenue also increased from 8.46 million yuan in 1953 to 21.84 billion yuan last year.

People's living standards have been improved, Yu added, noting that per capita disposable income of the city's urban and rural residents rose 75.9 and 47.2 times to 56,600 yuan and 33,800 yuan last year, respectively, compared with 1985.

Improvements have also been seen in infrastructure and urban development, with 24 cross-sea bridges built or under construction in the city, spanning 81 kilometers.

In addition, its urbanization grew from 56 percent in 2000 to 68.1 percent in 2018. Yu added that construction of the Ningbo-Zhoushan Railway is expected to begin in 2020, marking the end of absent railways in Zhoushan.

As for the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone located in Zhoushan, remarkable achievements have also been made in recent years, particularly in building an oil and gas industrial chain that integrates transport, processing, trade and transactions.

Yu pointed out that the zone has finished all the 89 experimental tasks set by the nation and has made 83 system innovation achievements, of which 34 had never been seen elsewhere in China. 10 have been replicated and promoted elsewhere by the State Council.

The zone is now home to 15,500 companies, including 4,562 specializing in the oil and gas business, making it China's petroleum hub. In addition, seven of the world's top 10 oil and gas giants have set up branches in the zone.

Officials said other achievements made by Zhoushan could be seen in environmental progress, tourism and public safety.

The city has recorded good air quality of 95 percent and above in recent years. It hosted over 63 million tourists last year and has been honored the title of a safe city by the provincial government for 14 consecutive years.

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