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Medicine, shipping drive growth of coastal city

By Li Wenfang in Zhanjiang | China Daily | Updated: 2012-06-30 08:15

Medicine, shipping drive growth of coastal city

The shipping industry is one of key areas between Zhanjiang city and the Association of Southeat Asian Nations. Li Manqing / for China Daily

The pharmaceuticals, shipping and logistics industries are considered to be promising new frontiers for cooperation between Zhanjiang and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The city's Fenyong Economic Zone plays a key role in cooperation with ASEAN in the pharmaceutical industry.

Chen Yuansheng, chief of the Guangdong Food and Drug Administration, said he expects rapid growth in the next five years for the biological and pharmaceutical markets.

Chen said there is great potential in biological technologies, oceanic pharmaceuticals, smart medical equipment and the modernization of traditional Chinese medicine.

He pledged his administration will try best to create a fair and orderly market environment and provide efficient support to the development of Zhanjiang.

If the populations of China and ASEAN member states were combined, they would total over 2 billion, meaning the pharmaceutical industry holds huge potential, said S Pushpanathan, former secretary-general of the ASEAN Secretariat.

With bilateral trade hitting $4.3 billion, ASEAN was the third-largest pharmaceutical export market for China.

He suggested that an organization be set up to link up the pharmaceutical industries of China and ASEAN and strengthen legislation to ensure the safety and quality of pharmaceutical products.

During the 2012 China-ASEAN Economic and Trade Cooperation Zhanjiang Activities, the Fenyong Economic Zone signed an agreement with the Guangdong Pharmaceutical Industry Association to build a platform for exchanges between the pharmaceutical industries of Guangdong and ASEAN.

Meanwhile, the port of Zhanjiang will actively enhance exchanges with ASEAN ports, said Liu Enhuai, president of Zhanjiang Port (Group) Co.

Two shipping routes will open to facilitate exchanges with ASEAN in the near future, Liu said. They are the Zhanjiang-Bangkok-Klang line and the Zhanjiang-Singapore-Haiphong line.

Zhanjiang is blessed with a deepwater port, the largest in southwestern China.

The port is equipped with 125 berths, including 34 deepwater berths, with two 300,000-ton crude oil docks, a 250,000-ton iron ore dock and a 150,000-ton coal dock are in place.

With its yearly throughput exceeding 155 million tons of goods in 2011, the port is connected to more than 100 countries and regions.

The city has signed port cooperation memorandums with a number of inland Chinese cities, including Chengdu, Wuhan, Guiyang, Chongqing and Hefei.

Zhanjiang is also a transport hub in South China, linking the southwestern region and Hainan province, with extensive networks covering air, railway and road transport.

The city government plans to inject 55.8 billion yuan ($8.8 billion) worth of investment to upgrade the transport network during the 2011-2015 period.

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