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Profiles of China Provinces, Cities and Industrial Parks

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Tianjin: Market Profile

Major Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators20172018
(%, y-o-y)
(%, y-o-y)
Gross Domestic Product (RMB bn)1,859.53.611,881.03.61
Per Capita GDP (RMB)118,9443.31
Added Value Output
   Primary industry (RMB bn)21.82.0117.30.11
   Secondary industry (RMB bn)759.01.01761.01.01
   Tertiary industry (RMB bn)1,078.76.011,102.75.91
Value-added Industrial Output2 (RMB bn)6,8642.312.41
Fixed-assets Investment (RMB bn)1,127.50.5-5.6
Retail Sales (RMB bn)573.01.71.7
Inflation (Consumer Price Index, %)2.12.0
Exports (US$ bn)43.6-1.648.812.1
   By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ bn)27.22.325.2-7.1
Imports (US$ bn)69.418.873.76.3
   By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ bn)32.89.434.24.5
Utilised Foreign Direct Investment (US$ bn)

1 In real terms  
2 For all state-owned enterprises and other forms with annual sales over RMB20 million      
Sources: Tianjin Statistical Yearbook 2018, Tianjin Statistical Bureau, China’s Customs

General Background

Tianjin has a total area of 11,917 sq km. Total population stood at 15.57 million in 2017. Tianjin is one of the four autonomous municipalities (直轄市) along with Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, and is an integral part of the Bohai Bay Economic Zone (環渤海經濟區), which is one of the three biggest economic regions in China.

With a view to strengthening Tianjin’s position as the economic centre of the Bohai Bay region, priority has been given to the development of the Binhai New Area. Preferential policies have been given by the State Council to support the development of the Binhai New Area.

The China (Tianjin) Pilot Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) was officially launched in April 2015 as part of China's second batch of free trade zones following the establishment of the Shanghai FTZ. Its strategic positioning is intended to make it an open platform for the collaborative development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. TJFTZ will fully leverage Tianjin Port’s advantages in being able to serve overseas markets, including Northeast Asia, in order to promote economic growth in Beijing, Hebei and other inland regions.

Tianjin port, as the largest comprehensive and commercial port in North China, provides services to 400 ports in more than 200 countries and regions all over the world. It handled 501 million tons of freight (-9.1%) in 2017, which accounts for 5.8% of China's total. Tianjin Binhai International Airport is a major cargo freight center in China. The city is well connected to other major cities by dozens of railroads and expressways.


Being the cradle of China’s modern mechanic industry and textile industry, Tianjin is an important industrial centre in China. However, with the rapid development of the services sectors, the share of industry in GDP has gradually declined in recent years.

Composition of GDP (%)

Primary 4.31.2
Secondary 50.840.8
   Industry 46.236.9
Tertiary 44.958.0

Source: Tianjin Statistical Yearbook 2018

Tianjin’s industrial development owes much to the rapid growth of high and new tech industry – electronics and information technology in particular. In 2017, the value-added of high-tech industry accounted for about 65% of Tianjin’s total gross output value. A number of high-tech enterprises, such as GMCC (環球磁卡), Jinyao Group (金耀集團), Guard Group Co. Ltd. (戈德集團) and Tasly Group (天士力集團) have become very competitive.

Foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) including those from Hong Kong and Taiwan have contributed greatly to Tianjin’s industry growth, particularly in high and new tech industry. In 2017, FIEs’ industrial output value accounted for 31% of Tianjin’s industrial value-added.

In 2017, large and medium-sized enterprises accounted for 75% of the total output, machinery manufacturing accounted for 41% of the total output.

Tianjin’s service sector develops rapidly. In 2017, wholesale and retail trade, and finance, were the two largest service industries, accounting for 21.7%, and 10.5% of the total added value in service sector respectively.


Various tourist routes such as visiting former residence of celebrities (名人故居遊), famous street travel (名街休閑遊), Xiqing Folk Custom travel (西青民俗遊) and Binhai New Area travel (濱海風情遊) have been launched in Tianjin.

 2017% change
Number of overseas tourist (mn)3.45+3.0
Foreign exchange income (US$ bn)3.75+5.5

Source: Tianjin Statistical Yearbook 2018

Foreign Trade

Chart: Utilised FDI of Tianjin

Major exports include mechanical and electronic products. In 2017, high and new technology products accounted for 37.2% of the city’s total exports. Major export markets were the US, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Hong Kong. In 2017, exports to Hong Kong amounted to US$2.43 billion, or 5.6% of Tianjin’s total exports.

Major imports were machinery & transport equipment, non-edible raw materials. Major import sources were the US, South Korea, Japan, Germany and Australia.

Foreign Investment

Chart: Utilised FDI of Tianjin

Chart: Utilised FDI of Tianjin

In 2017, 30.8% of the utilised FDI went to the manufacturing sector. 

Hong Kong is the leading investor in Tianjin. By the end of 2017, utilised investment from Hong Kong amounted to US$80.9 billion (47% of the total cumulative utilised FDI up to 2017). In 2017 alone, utilised investment from Hong Kong stood at US$5.81 billion. Other major sources of foreign investment included Japan, Germany, the US and Taiwan.

Consumer Market

In 2017, Tianjin’s annual per capita disposal income of urban households reached RMB 40,278 (+8.5%).

Composition of Per Capita Expenditure of Urban Household (%)

Food, alcohol and tobacco 40.131.2
Clothing 8.97.0
Household facilities, articles & services 11.85.9
Medicine & medical services 6.68.6
Transportation & communications 5.713.0
Recreation, cultural & education 12.99.8
Residence 9.221.4

Source: Tianjin Statistical Yearbook 2018

Some international famous supermarket companies have established chain stores in Tianjin, which include Metro, Walmart and Carrefour. Shanghai Lianhua, Jiangsu Suning, Beijing Gome and other domestic famous trade enterprises also set up supermarkets in Tianjin.

Binhai New Area

Economic Indicators
 Gross Domestic Product (Growth (%, y-o-y))6.0
Retail Sales (Growth (%, y-o-y))-1.4
 Exports (US$ bn)26.5

Source: Tianjin Statistical Yearbook 2018

Binhai New Area has a total developed area of 304 sq km. Total population stood at 2.98 million in 2017.

Binhai New Area is established in 1994, located to the east coastal area of Tianjin. The Area comprises three functional districts – Tianjin Port, TEDA (Tianjin Economic Development Area), TPFTZ (Tianjin Port Free Tax Zone), and five administrative districts – Tanggu District, Hanggu District, Dagang District, Wuxia Subdistrict of Dongli District and Gegu Town of Jinnan District.

In order to change the current development situation of “fast in the south, but slow in the north”, the Chinese government is determined to establish the Binhai New Area as the third economic hub, after Shenzhen and Shanghai Pudong, with a view to stimulate development in the northern part of the country.



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