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State may offer subsidies to isle developers

By Wang Qian (China Daily)

12:33, November 13, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Developers eyeing projects on uninhabited islands off China's coast could receive financial support from the government, as long as their plans pass muster.

In the search for fresh economic growth, the country is looking to make the most of its island assets.

Until now, the biggest hurdle facing developers has been the lack of infrastructure on these barren tracts of land. The cost of electricity and drinking water supplies, and roads and docking facilities often run into the millions.

"If the project meets the government's purpose, companies may be eligible for subsidies for infrastructure construction," which will drastically reduce their expenditures, Lu Caixia, director of island management for the State Oceanic Administration, said on Thursday.

However, he added that so far no detailed information on the financial support has been released.

According to the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), China will promote island protection and development, especially on unused isles.

In April, the State Oceanic Administration released a list of 176 uninhabited islands lying off Zhejiang, Fujian, Hainan, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong and Liaoning provinces, and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, that will be made open to domestic and foreign developers.

Lu said Chinese companies have shown excitement about the move, and most plans concentrate on tourism and entertainment. No foreign firms have so far applied.

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Canada at 2011-11-1470.36.49.*
Hopefully there is public access all along the coastline.

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