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The China Marine Economy Expo, the nation's only State-level comprehensive marine show, wrapped up with preliminary agreements on deals worth more than 110 billion yuan ($15.8 billion) signed in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province on Sunday, a record since its launch in 2012.
Co-hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Guangdong provincial government, the four-day expo attracted more than 2,400 exhibitors from 72 countries and regions. There were 150 heavyweights companies on show including Fortune 500 corporations, State-owned enterprises, industrial leaders and listed groups, according to the organizers.
About 50,000 professional visitors and more than 500,000 members of the public flocked to the show - which covered an area of 380,000 square meters this year, up 23 percent from the year before - to experience the latest in marine technology, materials and products, including unmanned craft, deep diving equipment, underwater robots and deep sea energy.
The exterior exhibition area was a popular highlight for the public, who were able to climb aboard actual vessels, including fire fighting boats, surveillance ships, coast guard vessels, rescue ships and oil recovery vessels to find out how they work.
The South China Sea Fleet, one of the navy's three military fleets, which set up its homebase in Zhanjiang, opened four of its warships to the public during the expo, attracting strong interest from many visitors from surrounding cities, according to the organizers.
The CMEE is a multifunctional platform - that integrates transactions, technological promotions, academic exchanges, announcements on achievements, cooperation talks and investment negotiations - which has been critically important to the development of the marine economy development," said Ou Xianwei, vice-mayor of Zhanjiang.
The city, which boasts the longest coastline among mainland cities, has listed the marine economy as one of its pillar industries.
In 2017, the general industrial output of the city's marine economy surged 15.2 percent year-on-year to 144.6 billion yuan, and the added-valued of the industry contributed nearly 27 percent to the city's gross domestic product, which ranked number one in Guangdong province.
During the expo, the government of Zhanjiang issued a big data platform for marine economic development - the first of its kind in the nation - to measure the rate of marine technological development and to provide data on the operation of marine assets.