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Plan Calls for Hi-tech Marine Economy

Science and technology will propel the marine economy over the next five to 10 years, a plan released said on Thursday.

The State Oceanic Administration released the national scheme to promote the use of scientific innovation to boost China's oceanic industries from 2008-15.

"It is the first guideline in China to highlight R&D in the growth of the marine economy," said the administration's director Sun Zhihui.

"In the next five to 10 years, hi-tech oceanic businesses will become a pillar of the marine economy."

The most important oceanic technologies to develop relate to fishing, seawater use, biochemistry, farming, power generation, deep-sea exploration, ecological protection, marine oil and gas exploitation, and marine information.

Pilot projects of relevant technologies are on the horizon. The administration estimates about half of the results from these projects will be put into practical use by 2015.

The plan also identifies enterprises as the growth engines for relevant scientific research.

China has for a long time incorporated science and technology into the development of the marine economy, Sun said.

Successful examples include progress in desalination. By the end of 2007, China constructed 62 desalination facilities, capable of producing a total of 160,000 tons of fresh water per day.

When the country exported to Indonesia a set of its homespun desalination equipment - capable of producing 4,500 tons of fresh water daily - this year, it marked a breakthrough for the industry.

Incorporating science and technology in the marine economy's development is vital to national economic growth, Sun said.

(China Daily September 26, 2008)

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