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Inner Mongolia: Market Profile

Major Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators2016Jan-Nov 2017
(%, y-o-y)
(%, y-o-y)
Gross Domestic Product (RMB bn)1,863.37.2 11,374.0 35.0 1
Per Capita GDP (RMB)74,0696.9 1
Added Value Output
Primary industry (RMB bn)162.93.0 166.8 33.6 1
Secondary industry (RMB bn)907.96.9 1679.2 32.8 1
Tertiary industry (RMB bn)792.58.3 1628.0 37.8 1
Value-added Industrial Output 2775.87.0 13.5 1
Fixed-assets Investment (RMB bn)1,547.011.91,406.8-6.3
Retail Sales (RMB bn)670.19.7647.47.4
Inflation (Consumer Price Index, %)1.21.2
Exports (US$ mn)4,374-22.64,48611.7
By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ mn)491-30.04580.3
Imports (US$ mn)7,2412.38,23625.4
By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ mn)515-16.650711.9
Utilised Foreign Direct Investment (US$ mn)3,96717.8

1 In real terms
2 For all state-owned enterprises and other forms with annual sales over RMB20 million
3 Jan-Sep 2017

Sources: Inner Mongolia Statistical Yearbook 2017, Inner Mongolia Statistical Bureau, China’s Customs Statistics 12.2016, 11.2017

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 25.2 million in 2016. 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 19% 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 18.3% of the national total in 2016.

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 8.8% of Inner Mongolia’s GDP in 2016. 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 44% of the national total respectively in 2016. The region also has the largest output of mutton which accounted for 21.5% of the national total in 2016.

Composition of GDP (%)


Source: Inner Mongolia Statistical Yearbook 2017

The number of cattle more than doubled to reach about 6.5 million by 2016 from 3 million in 2001. Inner Mongolia is the leading base of cow milk, accounting for 20.4% of the national total in 2016. 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, corn is the leading grain crop. Other major industrial crops include oil bearing crops such as sunflower seeds and vegetables including tomatoes. The region is also a leading production base of potatoes in China.

The share of industry in Inner Mongolia’s GDP has increased markedly over the years. The region’s industry is highly related to its natural resources and mainly consists of further processing of natural resources and agricultural products.

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. Other major industry sectors include smelting and pressing of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, food manufacturing and metal products.

Major Industry Groups (2016)

 % share of gross industrial output
Coal mining and processing16.4
Production and supply of electric power and heating power9.6
Processing of agricultural side-line food8.8
Smelting and pressing of non-ferrous metal8.1
Raw chemical materials & chemical products7.9
Smelting and pressing of ferrous metal7.8
Non-metal mineral products4.0
Petroleum and natural gas extraction3.6
Food manufacturing3.5
Mining and dressing of non-ferrous metal3.1
Mining and dressing of ferrous metal3.1
Petroleum processing, coke products3.0
Metal products2.4

Source: Inner Mongolia Statistical Yearbook 2017


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 2016, Inner Mongolia received 96.3 million (+15.3%) domestic tourists with the tourism receipts of RMB263.6 billion (+20.1%) and 1.78 million (+10.7%) overseas tourists with the foreign exchange revenue of US$1.14 billion (+18.3%).

Foreign Trade

Major export items included base metal and related products, chemicals and related products, and textile materials. In 2016, major export markets included Mongolia, Russia, the US and South Korea.

Foreign Investment

In 2016, most of Inner Mongolia’s utilised FDI went to the manufacturing sector (43% of the total utilised FDI in 2016). Mining was the second largest sector accounting for 27% of the total FDI in 2016.

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


Consumer Market

Hohhot and Baotou are the two leading consumer centres, accounting for 22.1% and 20.9% of the region’s total retail sales in 2016. In 2016, the per capita disposable income of urban households in Inner Mongolia was RMB32,975 an increase of 7.8%.

Economic Indicators of Major Cities (2016)

(RMB bn)
Per capita
Gross Industrial
Output* (RMB bn)
Retail Sales
(RMB bn)
Hohhot (呼和浩特) 317.4103,235173.1148.1
Baotou (包頭) 386.8136,021344.1140.0
Tongliao (通遼) 194.962,424269.051.5
Chifeng (赤峰) 193.344,936211.170.0
Erdos (鄂爾多斯) 441.8215,488487.572.7

* For all state-owned and non-state-owned enterprises with annual sales over RMB20 million
Source: Inner Mongolia Statistical Yearbook 2017


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