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Xinjiang: Market Profile

Major Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators20172018
(%, y-o-y)
(%, y-o-y)
Gross Domestic Product (RMB bn)1,088.27.611,219.96.11
Per Capita GDP (RMB)44,9415.7149,4754.11
Added Value Output
   Primary industry  (RMB bn)155.24.81169.24.71
   Secondary industry (RMB bn)433.16.41492.34.21
   Tertiary industry (RMB bn)499.99.51558.48.01
Value-added Industrial Output2 (RMB bn)306.06.41356.44.11
Fixed-assets Investment (RMB bn)1,179.618.1
Retail Sales (RMB bn)304.57.7
Inflation (Consumer Price Index, %)2.2
Exports (US$ mn)20,66115.016,419-6.9
   By foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) (US$ mn)703.37710.3
Imports (US$ mn)2,93242.93,591
   By foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) (US$ mn)75-41.3
Utilised Foreign Direct Investment (US$ mn)196-51.1

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

General Background

Xinjiang is the largest autonomous region of China. It has a total area of 1,664,900 sq km. Total population stood at 24.45 million by end-2017. It is located in the utmost northwestern part of China, closely connected in trade with Central Asia countries.

Xinjiang is China’s largest growing base of cotton, lavender and hop. Lavender planting areas and production in Ili district both account for 90% of the nation’s total. Besides, with the second largest pastureland, Xinjiang is one of the major sheep farming areas and fine-wool production base in China.

Xinjiang is rich in energy resources. It has the largest reserves of oil, natural gas and coal in the country. Its coal reserves account for 40% of the country’s total. The oil and gas reserves found in Tarim, Junggar and Turpan-Hami basins in the region account for one-fourth and one-third of the country’s total.

Xinjiang’s reserves of mineral resources are great as well. There are more than 130 kinds of mineral deposits founded. The region’s reserves of beryllium and mica are the highest in China. Some of the region’s granite products such as “Xinjiang Red”, “Tianshan White” and “Snowflower Black” are famous brands in the country.


Xinjiang is a major agricultural base and primary industry still accounted for 14.3% of GDP in 2017. Sugar beet and fruits, of which, Yili apple (伊犁蘋果), Korla pear (克拉梨), seedless white grape and Hami melon are famous at home and abroad.

Composition of GDP (%)


Source: Xinjiang Statistical Yearbook 2018

Urumqi, Karamay and Ili Kazak are the major industrial centers in Xinjiang. Oil and petrochemicals, electric power production, metallurgy, chemicals and food processing are among the pillar industries of Xinjiang.

Output Share of Leading Industry Groups (2017)

 % share of gross industrial output *
Oil processing, coking and nuclear fuel processing14.1
Production and supply of electricity and heat power12.5
Smelting and pressing of non-ferrous metal11.7
Raw chemical materials and products9.5
Extraction of petroleum and natural gas9.1
Processing of food from agricultural products5.6
Manufacture of electric equipment and machinery5.2
Manufacture of nonmetal mineral products4.3

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


Xinjiang has abundant tourist resources, owning 56 categories of tourist resources, out of 68 categories of the whole nation. Well-known scenic and historical interests include Heavenly Lake (天池), Bosteng Lake (博斯騰湖), ruins of Loulan (樓蘭遺址) and Gaochang Ancient City (高昌古城).

 2017% change
Number of domestic visitors (million)104.9
Income generated (RMB bn)175.2
Number of overseas visitors (million)2.4
Foreign exchange income (US$ mn)1,054.4

Source: Xinjiang Statistical Yearbook 2018

Foreign Trade

In 2017, major exports included tomato paste, shoes and textiles. Major exports markets included Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. These three markets in Central Asia accounted for about 77% of Xinjiang’s total exports in 2017.

Major imports included medical instruments, agricultural products and rolled steel. Major import sources included Kazakhstan, Germany, the US and Russia.

Border trade reached US$14 billion in 2017, accounting for 67.0% of the region’s total trade.

Xinjiang has become one of the hubs of trade in goods between European and Central Asian countries and China through the China-Europe China Railway Express (CR Express) cargo trains. As the Freight Train Logistics Center in Urumqi was completed in May 2016, goods from different parts of China can gather at Urumqi and leave China by train through Korgas Port (霍爾果斯口岸) or Alashankou Port (阿拉山口口岸). As in December 2018, the CR express cargo trains departing from Urumqi run on 19 lines, covering 24 cities of 17 Asian and European countries.

Foreign Investment


Chart: Utilised FDI of Xinjiang
Chart: Utilised FDI of Xinjiang

In 2017, Hong Kong was the leading source of FDI in Xinjiang, there were 250 enterprises from Hong Kong at the end of 2017. Other major investments came from Singapore and Kazakhstan. The leading sectors which attracted the most foreign capital in 2017 were leasing and business services, accounting for 77.2% of the total FDI.

Consumer Market

In 2017, annual per capita disposal income of urban households reached RMB30,775 (+5.7%). Urumqi, the largest consumer center in the region, recorded RMB107.3 billion retail sales of consumer goods in 2017, accounting for 35% of the region’s total retail sales value.

Composition of Per Capita Expenditure of Urban Household (%)

Food, tobacco & liquor36.427.9
Household articles9.37.0
Medicine & medical services7.59.1
Transportation & communications7.515.6
Recreation, cultural & education13.611.5

Source: Xinjiang Statistical Yearbook 2018

Major department stores and shopping centres in Xinjiang include Urumqi Tianshan Department Store (烏魯木齊天山百貨), Maison Mode (美美友好購物中心), Wuika Times Shopping Mall (匯嘉時代廣場) and Tulufan Department Store (吐魯番百貨), etc. Besides these indigenous retailers, foreign retailer Carrefour has also established in Xinjiang.

Economic Indicators of Major Cities (2017)

(RMB bn)
Per Capita GDP
Gross Industrial
(RMB bn)
Retail Sales
(RMB bn)

(US$ mn)
Ili Kazak

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

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