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China's maritime industry to keep growing

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BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhua) -- A new government report, made public on Monday, has predicted that China's maritime industry will see relatively fast growth in the next 17 years.

The country's maritime industry is expanding fast and will reach a stable stage in 2030, said the report issued by the China Institute for Marine Affairs, attached to the State Oceanic Administration.

In 2012, the maritime industry reported a total production value of 5 trillion yuan (802.57 billion U.S. dollars), up 7.9 percent year on year, and contributed 9.6 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

The industry's total production is expected to reach 20 trillion yuan in 2030 and account for 15 percent of GDP, judging from its current development and its potential, the report said.

The industry is still underdeveloped and its growth is "extensive" rather than "intensive," according to the report.

It said that in the next one or two decades, growth will be rooted in new technologies and more efficient methods to tap maritime resources.

However, the authors warned that the country will have to achieve a balance between the exploitation of resources and protection of the oceanic environment.

How to realize eco-friendly growth will be a major challenge for the country in developing the maritime industry, it said. According to a report issued by the State Oceanic Administration in March, the country's nearshore seawater is severely polluted and its seawater quality decreased in 2012.

Nearly 68,000 square km of nearshore seawater received the lowest quality grade possible last year, 24,000 square km more than in 2011, according to the report.

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