Giant steps have been made to turn this city into an international shipping center, its mayor said yesterday at the ongoing annual meeting of the municipal people's congress.
"Although we have been hit by the recent financial crisis, the construction of some important projects is going well," Mayor Xia Deren said.
Located on the southernmost tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, Dalian faces South Korea and Japan across the Yellow Sea. It is well placed to be a shipping center in Northeast Asia.
"Some preferential policies that applied to the Dayaowan Bonded Harbor Area have been extended to the northeastern region and we have strengthened cooperation with other ports and cities in Northeast China," Xia said.
Last year, the city built some key shipping facilities, including a 300,000-ton crude oil terminal, the Yantai-Dalian train ferry, and the China National Petroleum Corp liquefied natural gas project, he said.
This year, it will reinforce its function as an international shipping center by boosting the construction of several major projects, including a container terminal and 300,000-ton crude oil terminals in Dayaowan and Changxing Island, he said.
An industrial belt for shipbuilding is taking shape at the Changxing Island Port Industrial Zone on Bohai Bay, he said.
COSCO Shipbuilding Industry Co and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co Ltd (DSIC) have manufacturing bases there, he said.
South Korea-based STX Shipbuilding Co, the world's sixth-largest shipbuilder, also has a base on the island, he said.
It launched its first ship at the end of last year, he said.
"Changxing Island is set to become one of the world's biggest shipbuilding bases," Xia said.
"We will continue to help DSIC, STX, COSCO and ocean engineering projects in 2009," he said.
As a city with an export-oriented economy, Dalian has been affected by the global financial crisis, he said.
"Industries like shipping, logistics, manufacturing and shipbuilding are expected to be strongly influenced in the future," Xia said.
"We should prepare for the effects of the financial crisis on the economy," he said.
Dalian has upgraded its industrial structure in recent years, which will aid the city's development, Xia said.
Also, the campaign to revitalize old industrial bases in Northeast China and the development of Liaoning's coastal industrial belt has brought new opportunities to Dalian, he said.
"The beautiful natural environment of Liaoning's coastal industrial belt will continue to attract more investment and better production factors to the city," Xia said.