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China Daily Website

China makes marine plea to APEC members

Updated: 2012-12-07 21:12
By Wang Qian in Tianjin ( chinadaily.com.cn)

China has called for a closer partnership among APEC economies to guarantee sustainable development of marine industries.

Liu Cigui, head of the State Oceanic Administration, said on Thursday a stronger partnership is needed among Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation countries for information-sharing on marine disaster prevention and reduction technologies.

It was also required for a cross-border marine environment forecasting and offshore emergency rescue services, a regional marine protection network, and technology support to small and medium-sized island countries.

"As coastal and offshore biosystems we live on are facing increasing challenges brought by climate change, enhancing cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region is a long-term and important task," Liu said in his speech to the two-day Second APEC Blue Economy Forum, which ended on Friday.

The forum, held in Tianjin this year, encourages representatives from governmental agencies, institutions, industry and NGOs to share opinions and suggestions on marine health and sustainable development of the blue economy — where ocean ecosystems bring economic and social benefits that are efficient, equitable and sustainable.

According to APEC statistics released in 2009, its members account for more than 80 percent of global aquaculture production and more than 65 percent of the world's capture fisheries.

China is increasingly relying on the ocean economy. Its gross domestic product involving the marine sectors in 2011 increased 10.4 percent year-on-year to nearly 4.6 trillion yuan ($730 billion), accounting for 9.7 percent of the country's GDP.

Zhang Zhanhai, director of the administration's international cooperation department, said: "Rapid marine economic development means we must reduce the impact caused by marine disasters and climate change, which is the common demand of the APEC economies."

Zhang added that enhancing international cooperation can be a win-win situation.

China has cooperated with more than 20 countries on marine-related industries, and in June the central government launched the framework plan (2011-15) for international collaboration of the South China Sea and its adjacent oceans.

Chen Lianzeng, deputy head of the State Oceanic Administration, said although disputes have become complicated in marine affairs between China and neighboring countries, China wants to provide a communication and cooperation platform for Asia- Pacific countries to form innovative cooperation mechanism and jointly explore a sustainable way to develop the blue economy.

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