Clear sailing ahead for maritime economy
Wang Lai from the strategic studies department of Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, one of the world's biggest and busiest port conglomerations in terms of annual cargo turnover, said "the ports are windows for Zhejiang's opening up".
"The integration of port resources in recent years has taken synergistic effects in boosting the province's economic capacity," Wang added.
The provincial government has set a goal of 1.25 billion metric tons of cargo turnover at Ningbo-Zhoushan Port by 2022.
Last year, the total output of maritime industries in Zhejiang surpassed 796.5 billion yuan ($112 billion), up 9.8 percent year-on-year.
The province plans to generate annual output of 1.4 trillion yuan in the maritime sector by 2022, contributing around 18 percent of Zhejiang's annual GDP.
President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, called for building China into a strong maritime country in a report delivered to the 19th CPC National Congress in October, 2017. During an inspection tour to Qingdao, Shandong province, in June last year, he further urged strong efforts to develop the maritime economy.
SOA statistics show China's maritime sector is becoming a new growth engine for the country's economic development. Last year, the total output of maritime industries in China hit 8.3 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 6.7 percent. Its contribution to the country's economic growth reached nearly 10 percent.
By 2025, the maritime industry output is estimated to exceed 13 trillion yuan.
Qin Jirong contributed to this story.