Visitors explore exhibits at the 2020 Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
More than 1,000 companies are participating in the Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo, which gets underway on Friday, further enhancing cooperation among key players involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
As an important part of the BRI, the overseas maritime fishery industry has helped to strengthen cooperation between China and some developing countries and created jobs for people in those countries.
According to the Guangdong Overseas Fisheries Association, there were 178 overseas maritime fishery companies and 2,701 ocean fishing vessels in China by the end of 2019. Their operating waters involve more than 40 countries and regions and cover the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, open Atlantic and Antarctic areas.
Guangdong province started developing its overseas fishery industry in 1989, one of China's first provinces to develop this sector.
Guangdong has 24 certified overseas fishery companies and 270 fishing vessels deployed in the industry. The main operating waters are distributed in Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Iran. The companies are licensed to catch more than 30 major fish varieties, including tuna, squid and cuttlefish.
One of the companies, Guangdong Shunxin Sea Fishery Group, focuses on domestic and international pelagic fishing, aquaculture, frozen aquatic processing, cold chain storage, fish meal and fish oil.
The company invested 150 million yuan ($23.2 million) to build a -60 C ultralow temperature freezer with a total capacity of more than 20,000 metric tons, which provides cold storage for surrounding provinces and cities.
"It's the first time for us to participate in the Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo. The expo is of great significance to promoting Guangdong's overseas fishery and high-quality products," said Huang Fuxiong, director of the Guangdong Overseas Fisheries Association.
"The expo helps to strengthen the cooperation between fishery companies in Guangdong province and countries involved in the BRI, and provides a platform for communication between companies and investors."
Guangdong's advantages in technology, capital and management can ensure the supply of high-quality domestic aquatic products and provide high-quality protein for the world, Huang said.
To promote the deep integration of China's overseas fishery companies with their partners, the government supports and guides companies to build comprehensive overseas maritime fishery bases at home and abroad, including the Shenzhen national overseas fishery base and the Shenzhen Liancheng Overseas Fishery Micronesia Base.
Guangdong New South Group, taking part in the expo for the first time this year, has established special economic zones in Africa to promote the development of Africa and provide a platform for Chinese companies to invest overseas.
In 2013, the company obtained the operation and management rights to establish a Nigeria-Guangdong economic and trade cooperation zone in Nigeria's Ogun State.
Planned to cover 100 square kilometers, the first 2.24-sq-km phase of the zone has been completed and construction on the second phase of the zone is underway.
According to the company, around $300 million has been invested in the zone and 70 companies have set up operations there covering furniture, building materials, glass and timber.