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Maritime industry gets state backing

CHINA will support domestic shipbuilders and encourage the development of the marine equipment industry to sharpen overall competitiveness, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said.

In a statement on its Website, the MIIT said the government will back eligible shipbuilders to list shares and it will promote the issuing of bonds to boost the industry.

The government plans to expand the share of the country's shipyards in the global shipbuilding market to at least 35 percent in 2011 and for its marine equipment makers to take 10 percent of the world market, the MIIT said. To meet this goal, the government will also back the setting up of several marine equipment manufacturing bases.

"The government's plan is significant to the industry," Huang Zhen, an analyst at Changjiang Securities, was quoted by Shanghai Securities News as saying. "Chinese shipbuilders will become more competitive after these measures are taken."

Earlier this year, the State Council, China's Cabinet, mapped out a plan which asks banks to offer trade finance for ship exports.

"The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is working on specific measures on shipping loans with the People's Bank of China and the Export-Import Bank of China," the newspaper said, citing an inside source.

New orders for Chinese shipbuilders sank 95 percent to 990,000 deadweight tons in the first four months of this year from the same period last year, according to the statistics from MIIT. Orders for 28 vessels totaling 1.15 million dwt were canceled in the first four months, against 12 vessels totaling 250,000 dwt in the first quarter, according to the Association of National Shipbuilding Industry.


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