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China’s Maritime Economic Development: A Review, the Future Trend, and Sustainability Implications


  • Wai-Ming To

    (School of Business, Macao Polytechnic Institute, Macao, China)

  • Peter K. C. Lee

    (Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)


China has experienced unprecedented economic growth and structural change in the past decades. This paper reviews the development of China’s maritime economy for the period of 2002 to 2017. According to official data from China’s government, the total production value of China’s maritime economy increased from RMB 1068 billion in 2002 to RMB 7761 billion in 2017, thus contributing to about 10 percent of China’s total gross domestic product. This paper applies four-parameter logistic models to identify the associated trends and predicts the near-future values for the total, primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors of China’s maritime economy. It is projected that China’s total maritime economy will reach RMB 8894 billion in 2019. Besides, the growth of China’s maritime economy has been and will be dominated by the growth in the tertiary sector, particularly of China’s coastal tourism and transport industries. Specifically, China’s coastal tourism increased from RMB 147.8 billion in 2002 to RMB 1463.6 billion in 2017. In terms of spatial development, the east and north-east coasts of China experience more rapid maritime economic growth than the south-east coast. The implications for the sustainability of China’s maritime economy are presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Wai-Ming To & Peter K. C. Lee, 2018. "China’s Maritime Economic Development: A Review, the Future Trend, and Sustainability Implications," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(12), pages 1-13, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:12:p:4844-:d:191566

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