China's marine shipping business continued to grow rapidly and notched up 341.4 billion yuan (about 46.77 billion U.S. dollars) in value added last year.
The figure poses a year-on-year rise of 21.1 percent, according to a statistical bulletin released at an ongoing annual conference of the State Oceanic administration (SOA) held in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province.
The number of coastal ports with handling capacity exceeding 100 million dead weight tonnage (DWT) each has totaled 14 in the country.
The country ranked the first globally in terms of both freight and container handling volumes for the fifth straight year.
Shanghai Port, for instance, handled 26.15 million in 20-foot container equivalent units (TEU) throughput in 2007, surpassing Hong Kong to rank second globally. And the TEU throughput grew by more than 20 percent from 2006.
The Port of Singapore is currently the world's largest in TEU throughput. It handled more than 28 million TEUs last year.
In tandem with the fast growth in marine shipping business, China also saw expansion in the shipbuilding industry. The sector scored 44.8 billion yuan (about 6.14 billion dollars) in value added last year, a rise of 17.6 percent from the year 2006.
China's shipbuilding sector completed ships equivalent to 18 million deadweight tonnage (DWT) and received orders for ships totaling 70 million DWT in the same year.
Coastal tourism and related consumption demands continued to grow fast too in 2007. Coastal tourism created 32.43 million yuan in value added last year, a year-on-year rise of 19.9 percent.
(Xinhua News Agency February 26, 2008)