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Gansu: Market Profile

Major Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators20172018
(%, y-o-y)
(%, y-o-y)
Gross Domestic Product (RMB bn)746.03.61824.66.31
Per Capita GDP (RMB)28,4973.0131,3365.81
Added Value Output
   Primary industry (RMB bn)85.95.4192.15.01
   Secondary industry (RMB bn)256.2-1.11279.53.81
   Tertiary industry (RMB bn)403.86.51453.08.41
Value-added Industrial Output2 (RMB bn)160.4-1.714.61
Fixed-assets Investment (RMB bn)569.6-40.3
Retail Sales (RMB bn)342.77.67.4
Inflation (Consumer Price Index, %)1.42.0
Exports (US$ mn)1,710-54.92,21129.3
   By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ mn)12-14.911-10.8
Imports (US$ mn)3,11616.43,78921.6
   By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ mn)2067.22317.3
Utilised Foreign Direct Investment (US$ mn)43.56-62.550.4115.7

1 In real terms 
2 For all state-owned enterprises and other forms with annual sales over RMB20 million    
Sources: Gansu Development Statistical Yearbook 2018, Gansu Statistical Bureau, China’s Customs Statistics, 12.2017, 12.2018

General Background

Gansu has a total area of more than 425,800 sq km. Its population stood at 26.37 million in 2018. It is located in China’s northern region and is having a complicated landscape, including mountains, plateaus, valleys and deserts. Gansu belongs both to the Yellow River basin and Yangtze River basin. It is famous for its cultural heritages including the Silk Road.

Gansu is rich in natural resources, including minerals deposits, forest resources, wind and solar power. Gansu has discovered over 170 kinds of minerals. More important ones include nickel, cobalt, platinum group, mold clay and magnesium, etc. However, quite a number of these metal or non-metal minerals are co-associated deposits, adding to the difficulties in the mining process.

Gansu has a reserve of 600 million tonnes of oil. It is one of the richest solar energy resources bases in China. Gansu’s wind energy resources rank number five in China. Gansu is also endowed with herbs. In terms of the number of species, it ranks second in China.


The agricultural sector is still very important to Gansu. In terms of cultivated areas, corn, wheat, tubers (such as potatoes), oil bearing crops (mainly rapeseed), vegetables and Chinese medicine herbs are the leading farm corps. Animal husbandry is another major sector raising mainly cattle, horses, donkeys, sheep and goats. Mutton, beef and sheep wool are also major outputs of Gansu.

Composition of GDP (%)


Source: Gansu Statistical Yearbook 2018

Based on the advantages on resources, Gansu has established an industrial system leaded by petroleum industry, metallurgical industry, chemical industry and food processing industry etc. Gansu aims to develop new energy resources, including wind and solar energy, and related equipment industries. It will strengthen as the production base of synthetic fiber. To utilise the advantages in animal husbandry and agricultural products, Gansu will further develop its leather and food processing industries.

Output Value Share of Leading Industry Groups (2017)

 % share of gross industrial output
Smelting and pressing of non-ferrous metals26.5
Processing of petroleum and coking13.5
Production and supply of electric power, gas and water12.3
Smelting and pressing of ferrous metals6.0
Manufacture of non-metallic mineral products5.6
Processing of food from agricultural products3.8
Manufacture of raw chemical materials and chemical products3.8
Mining and washing of coal3.6
Extraction of petroleum and natural gas3.2

Source: Gansu Statistical Yearbook 2018

Among tertiary industries, in terms of value-added, the sector of wholesale and retail trade was the leading sector accounting for about 14% of the value-added of the tertiary industry in 2017, followed by the sector of financial intermediation, with a share of 13.7%.


Gansu’s tourism resources include cultural and historical heritages such as the Silk Road, Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes (敦煌莫高窟), the Yellow River civilisation, Jiayuquan (嘉峪關). Natural scenery includes Crescent Moon Spring (月牙泉), Maiji Mountain (麥積山) and Kongtong Mountain (崆峒山), etc.

 2017% change
Number of domestic tourist (million)23925.1
Income generated (RMB bn)157.929.5
Number of overseas tourist (thousand)78.810.2
Foreign exchange income (US$ mn)20.98.9

Source: Gansu Statistical Yearbook 2018

Foreign Trade

Major exports included non-alloy nickel, cobalt and its products, ferrosilicon, apple juice and tomato sauce etc. Major imports were mineral products such as copper ores and machinery products.

Major destination of exports included Hong Kong, South Korea and the US. In 2017, exports to Hong Kong accounted for 40.9% of Gansu’s total exports.

Major sources of imports in 2017 included Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Taiwan.

Foreign Investment

Electric power, gas and water production & supply accounted for 54% of the utilised FDI in 2017. FDI from Hong Kong stood at US$17.55 million in 2017, accounting for 40.3% of the total utilised FDI.

Chart: Utilised FDI of Gansu
Chart: Utilised FDI of Gansu

Consumer Market

In 2018, annual per capita disposal income of urban households was RMB29,957 (+7.9%). Major consumer markets are located in Lanzhou (蘭州市), accounting for 39.6% of Gansu’s total retail sales respectively in 2017.

Composition of Per Capita Expenditure of Urban Household (%)

Food, tobacco and liquor36.029.2
Household articles5.66.5
Healthcare, medical services7.58.4
Transportation & communications9.814.2
Recreation, cultural & education14.411.3

Source: Gansu Statistical Yearbook 2018

Economic Indicators of Major Cities (2017)

(RMB bn)
Per capita GDP
Industrial Output *
(RMB bn)
Retail Sales
(RMB bn)
(RMB bn)
Lanzhou (蘭州) 250.167,26958.4135.97.29
Baiyin (白銀) 45.126,15010.920.70.39
Tianshui (天水) 59.917,97910.331.32.24
Jiuquan (酒泉) 55.249,2009.320.80.49
Qingyang (慶陽) 58.526,03124.123.90.17

* For all state-owned enterprises and other forms with annual sales over RMB20 million
Source: Gansu Statistical Yearbook 2018


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