Massive growth in new area
Qingdao West Coast New Area in Shandong province has experienced major marine development over the past few years, officials said.
The new area was approved by the State Council as the ninth national-level new area in June 2014.
It was assigned to carry out pilot innovation in marine technology, serve as a strategic base for deep-sea and offshore exploration, and become a pioneer in international cooperation for the marine economy.
The Qingdao Area of China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, which was unveiled on Aug 31, is located in Qingdao West Coast New Area. It is the largest part of the new Shandong FTZ.
Qingdao West Coast New Area covers 2,128 square kilometers with a population of 2 million. In 2018, the area's GDP reached 351.7 billion yuan ($49.36 billion), ranking third among 19 national-level new areas.
Official data shows that from 2013-18, the overall output value of the new area's marine industry increased from 49.1 billion yuan to 118.2 billion yuan. The average annual growth was 20 percent.
During the 2019 East Asia Marine Cooperation Platform Qingdao Forum, 10 major projects worth a total of 37.3 billion yuan were signed in Qingdao West Coast New Area. The projects involved high-end equipment, international trade, information technology, tourism, health, new energy and finance.