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Inner Mongolia: Market Profile

Major Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators20172018
(%, y-o-y)
(%, y-o-y)
Gross Domestic Product (RMB bn)1,610.34.0 11,728.9 5.3 1
Per Capita GDP (RMB)63,7863.6 168,3025.0
Added Value Output
Primary industry (RMB bn)164.73.7 11,7543.2 1
Secondary industry (RMB bn)640.91.5 16,8075.1 1
Tertiary industry (RMB bn)804.76.1 18,7286.0 1
Value-added Industrial Output 2510.93.6 17.1 1
Fixed-assets Investment (RMB bn)1,440.5-6.9-27.3
Retail Sales (RMB bn)716.06.9731.16.3
Inflation (Consumer Price Index, %)1.71.8
Exports (US$ mn)4,93612.35,75217.9
By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ mn)5093.765128.1
Imports (US$ mn)8,96123.79,93510.4
By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ mn)5374.5453-15.7
Utilised Foreign Direct Investment (US$ mn)3,1503,1600.3

1 In real terms
2 For all state-owned enterprises and other forms with annual sales over RMB20 million

Sources: Inner Mongolia Statistical Yearbook 2018, Inner Mongolia Statistical Bureau, China’s Customs Statistics


General Background

Inner Mongolia has a total area of 1.18 million sq km, accounting for 12.3% of the national total and is the third largest province or autonomous region of China. The total population stood at 25.3 million in 2017. The capital city is Hohhot city.

It is one of the five autonomous regions of China. It has 49 ethnic groups and Mongolian is the second largest ethnic group (about 18% of the total population) besides Han.

Inner Mongolia has the largest grassland area in China, accounting for 19% of the nation’s total available grassland. It also has the largest forest area, accounting for 12% of the national total.  Therefore, Inner Mongolia is important bases for livestock and forestry industries. The region’s number of sheep and goats accounted for about 20.2% of the national total in 2017.

Inner Mongolia is also rich in mineral deposits, such as rare earth and coal. It is the region which discovered the largest number of new minerals. Among the more than 50 recognised new minerals in the world, Inner Mongolia has ten of them. The region is one of the leading production bases of coal in China. It has the second largest reserves of coal after Shanxi. The region aims to become a major national base for energy, metallurgy industry and green agricultural production.


The primary sector still accounted for 10.2% of Inner Mongolia’s GDP in 2017. Animal husbandry is an important sector accounting for about 43% of the gross output of the agricultural sector. Due to the large number of sheep and goats, Inner Mongolia is the leading production base for sheep wool and cashmere, accounting for 31% and 45% of the national total respectively in 2017. The region also has the largest output of mutton which accounted for 22.1% of the national total in 2017.

Composition of GDP (%)


Source: Inner Mongolia Statistical Yearbook 2018

The number of cattle more than doubled to reach about 6.56 million by 2017 from 3 million in 2001. Inner Mongolia is the leading base of cow milk, accounting for 18.2% of the national total in 2017. Hohhot city, the capital city of Inner Mongolia, is also named as the Dairy Capital of China. Famous national brands in dairy product have emerged, including Mingniu (蒙牛) and Yili (伊利) .

In terms of sown area, major industrial crops include oil bearing crops such as sunflower seeds and cereal crops such as corn. The region is also a leading production base of potatoes in China.

Inner Mongolia is the leading base for electricity generation for supplying to other provinces. It also has the largest wind power production capacity in China. In 2017, Inner Mongolia accounted for 15.2% of the national total production of energy. Other major industry sectors include smelting and pressing of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, food manufacturing and metal products.


Inner Mongolia has rich tourism resources including the natural scenery of large pastures or desert adventures such as the Sound Bay. The Mongolian ethnic culture and historical relics are also major attractions.

In 2017, Inner Mongolia received 114.6 million (+19.1%) domestic tourists with the tourism receipts of RMB344.0 billion (+26.7%) and 1.85 million (+3.9%) overseas tourists with the foreign exchange revenue of US$1.25 billion (+9.4%).

Foreign Trade

Major export items included base metal and related products, chemicals and related products, and textile materials. In 2017, major export markets included Mongolia, Russia, South Korea and Iran.

Foreign Investment

Chart: Utilised FDI of Inner Mongolia

Chart: Utilised FDI of Inner Mongolia


Chart: Utilised FDI of Inner Mongolia
Chart: Utilised FDI of Inner Mongolia

In 2017, most of Inner Mongolia’s utilised FDI went to mining (50% of the total utilised FDI in 2017). Manufacturing sector was the second largest sector accounting for 28% of the total FDI in 2017.

Consumer Market

Hohhot and Baotou are the two leading consumer centres, accounting for 21.9% and 20.8% of the region’s total retail sales in 2017. In 2017, the per capita disposable income of urban households in Inner Mongolia was RMB35,670 an increase of 6.4%.


Economic Indicators of Major Cities (2017)

(RMB bn)
Per capita
Disposable Income of Urban Residents (RMB)
Gross Industrial
Output* (%, y-o-y)
Retail Sales
(RMB bn)
Hohhot (呼和浩特) 247.443,5186.1157.1
Baotou (包頭) -44,2316.0148.6
Tongliao (通遼) 122.329,6670.155.1
Chifeng (赤峰) 140.729,6600.575.8
Erdos (鄂爾多斯) 358.043,5597.077.8

* For all state-owned and non-state-owned enterprises with annual sales over RMB20 million
Source: Inner Mongolia Statistical Yearbook 2018, Inner Mongolia Hohhot, Baotou, Tongliao, Chifeng and Erdos Bureau of Statistics


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