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Gov't OKs Plans for Port Development and Shipbuilding
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The Chinese government yesterday approved a national plan for sea port distribution and medium and long-term proposals for the shipbuilding industry. The proposals were approved at a meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.

It was agreed at the meeting that a reasonable distribution of ports along the Chinese coast was of significant importance to national transport networks and the expansion of China's foreign trade.

The plan calls for improved coordination between regions in the development of ports and stresses the importance of these facilities raising their capacity to achieve economies of scale.

The meeting agreed that port development should focus on coal, crude oil, iron ore and container systems before 2010. China's dynamic economy and explosive trade growth have sparked off a wave of port developments and expansions in recent years involving tens of billions of yuan in investment.

Shanghai, Qingdao, Shenzhen and a number of other Chinese ports are now among the busiest in the world.

On shipbuilding the meeting pointed out that it was an industry where China has a competitive advantage in international terms and that should be further strengthened over the next 10 years.

The meeting called for more efforts to be made to encourage technical innovation in shipbuilding, to pursue a greater market share of that business through international cooperation and to strengthen personnel development. 

China, with around 14 percent share of the global market, is now the world's third largest shipbuilder after Japan and South Korea. 

(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2006)

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