Qingdao ambitious to be exemplary city

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Shandong province plans to invest 30 billion yuan ($4.6 billion) in Qingdao Port to double its throughput capacity to 600 million tons by 2015, according to Chang Dechuan, president of Qingdao Port (Group) Co Ltd.

The port, currently the world's seventh largest, will play a leading role in the development of the Shandong Peninsula Blue Economic Zone, one of three regional ocean economic zones approved by the central government in January as pilot zones for the development of the country's marine economy, Chang, an NPC deputy, said during the two sessions.

"Qingdao Port is currently not big enough to support regional economic development, the transport capacities for mineral, coal and oil especially are not strong," he said.

As the nation's largest iron ore and crude oil port, Qingdao Port has focused on the container sector in recent years, and it is expected to surpass South Korea's Busan Port to become the leading container port in Northeast Asia in one or two years.

Exports from the marine economic zone contributed 78 percent of the total volume of exports in Shandong last year, and attracted 63.5 percent of foreign direct investment in the area.

By constructing a series of new docks and developing a newly approved bonded area, the port is expected to play a more important role in boosting the marine economy in the region.

"Our national economic plan used to focus on the development of land resources," said Fei Yunliang, head of the construction office for the Shandong Peninsula Blue Economic Zone.

"We are the first national marine strategy, which shows the new trend for China's economic development."

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