The maritime industry is an important basic industry for social and economic development. It plays an important role in safeguarding national economic security,maritime rights and interests, advancing the restructuring and upgradingof the industry and promoting the development of foreign trade, etc. Recently, the State Council issued Some Opinions on the Sound Development of the Maritime Industry (hereinafter referred to as the Opinions). This is the first time that a maritime strategy at the national level has been issued. The Opinions will help to boost confidence, rally strength, deepen reform, which will further benefit the building of a strong maritime country. It is significant for steady growth, structural adjustment, deepening reform and improving people’s lives.
The Opinions, aimed at building up a moderately prosperous society and accommodating the safe operation of the national economy and the development of foreign trade, set the goal of establishing a modern maritime system by the year 2020, which is safe, convenient, high-efficient, economical, green and internationally competitive. By that time, maritime service trade will lead the world and its international competitiveness will be improved markedly. The Opinions nailed down the basic principles such as safeguarding economic security, protecting national interests, deepening reform, optimizing industrial structures, as well as securing a comprehensive and coordinated development with enterprises as main players under the guidance of the government.
The Opinions listed seven main tasks. Firstly, to optimize the structure of the maritime merchant fleet. Secondly, to improve the world-wide maritime network. Thirdly, to promote the transformation and upgrading of shipping enterprises. Fourthly, to step up efforts in developing modern shipping service industry. Fifthly, to deepen the reform and opening up of maritime industry. Sixthly, to entrance the international competitiveness of the maritime industry. Seventhly, to secure a safe and green development.
In order to fulfill the above mentioned tasks, the Opinions specified measures in four aspects. Firstly, the guarantee mechanism should be improved. Secondly, taxation policies should play a supporting role. Thirdly, market supervision should be strengthened and service quality needs to be improved. Fourthly, technological renovation and professional team should be encouraged.
It is noted that since the founding of new Republic, especially since the reform and opening up, our maritime industry has been developing rapidly, and outstanding achievements have been made in the fields of the number of operation entities, scale of fleet and service ability. China’s maritime industry is now playing an irreplaceable role both in the national economy and foreign trade. China is playing a more and more important role in the world maritime industry and has become the largest maritime nation in the world. Currently, our national maritime fleet, listed No.4 in the world, has a carrying capacity of 142 million tons which takes 8% of the carrying capacity of the world maritime fleet. The port throughput has already reached 11.8 billion tons, among which imported crude oil and coal exceed 300 million tons, imported mineral ore 1 billion tons. However, there are still some problems affecting the performance of the maritime industry. The maritime industry still cannot fully meet the demand of China’s economic and social development. Therefore, the State Council issued the Opinions.