More than half of China's major cities are situated within 200 kilometers inland distance from the 18, 000-km-long national coastline.Here resides 40 percent of the nation's population, and here is also where 80 percent of the nation's foreign-based capital is invested,"where 90 percent of exports source from; and where 70 percent of the national GDP is generated. As part of an ongoing investigation intothe coastal economy, China Pictorial journalists recently visited the northeastern coastal province of Shandong to learn more about themarine economy, a powerhouse fiscal driver within this important region.
On May 30, 2007, China's stockmarket went into a sharp dive,with the Shanghai Stock Ex-change (SSE) Composite Indexdropping by a margin exceeding 6 percent.Like many other listed companies, theShandong Oriental Ocean Sci-Tech Co.,Ltd. (SOOSC) took a heavy hit. Watch-ing the developments, SOOSC GeneralManager Li Cunming left his office beforethe stock market closed and headed to thecompany's marine products logistics site inthe Yantai Hi-Tech Development Zone. Heremained into the evening, reassuring hismanagers and workers. Despite the marketfluctuation, Li believed that, as a nationalleading enterprise in agricultural industrial-ization and a state-class base for high-qual-ity farmed aquatic products, SOOSC wouldsoon overcome the setback.
Li has faith in the overall strength of theenterprise itself, as well as its sound posi-tion as a major player in Shandong's risingmarine industry, which is considered to bea new growth center and a provincial pillarindustry. Shandong leads China in the out-put value of fishery products, accounting for27.8 percent of the nation's total. In earlyMay, Shandong Province held a specialworking conference on the marine econo-my, whereby fisheries were designated asthe leading sector. Also at this meeting, theprovincial leaders voiced determination tobuild Shandong into a marine-economy-based power with efficient regional distri-bution, an optimized industrial structure,and a favorable ecological environment.