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Jilin: Market Profile

Major Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators20162017
(%, y-o-y)
(%, y-o-y)
Gross Domestic Product (RMB bn)1,477.76.911,528.95.31
Per Capita GDP (RMB)53,8687.31
Added Value Output
   Primary industry (RMB bn)149.93.91142.93.31
   Secondary industry (RMB bn)700.56.21701.33.91
   Tertiary industry (RMB bn)627.38.81684.77.51
Value-added Industrial Output2 (RMB bn)613.46.315.51
Fixed-assets Investment (RMB bn)1,295.010.11,313.11.4
Retail Sales (RMB bn)731.09.9785.67.5
Inflation (Consumer Price Index, %)1.61.6
Exports (US$ bn)4.2-
   By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ bn)1.3-4.01.3-3.8
Imports (US$ bn)14.2-0.214.1-1.0
   By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ bn)
Utilised Foreign Direct Investment (US$ bn)

1 In real terms    
2 For all state-owned and other forms of enterprises with annual sales over RMB20 million   
3 Jan-Nov 2017
Sources: Jilin Statistical Yearbook 2017, Jilin Statistical Bureau, China’s Customs Statistics 12.2016 and 12.2017.

General Background

Abbreviated as Ji (吉), Jilin lies in the central part of Northeastern China, bordering Russia and North Korea in the east and southeast respectively. With Changchun as its provincial capital, Jilin has a total area of 187,400 sq km. Total population stood at 27.33 million at the end of 2016.

Jilin has rich natural and mineral resources. Apart from being a major grain production base in China, it ranked the sixth in timber production. Moreover, ginseng, sable and deer antlers, the "Three Northeastern Treasures", renowned both in China and overseas, are specialties of Jilin Province. The yields of ginseng and deer antlers are among the top in China. In addition, Jilin has abundant traditional medicine resources, with approximately 27,000 kinds of wild plants and 9,000 kinds of medicinal herbs. For mineral resources, there are 165 kinds of minerals discovered. Jilin has large reserves of oil, gas, coal, iron mine, nickel, molybdenum, talc, graphite, gypsum, cement rock, gold and silver.

In the past, debt laden state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were prevalent in Jilin. Through all kinds of reform such as outright sales, introducing strategic investors, financial restructuring and lifting their social services (housing, education, medicare, etc.) burdens, the SOEs have become more efficient.


Jilin province is a key agricultural province of China. Located at one of the three world-famous “black land belts (黑土帶)”, the central Songliao plain is “the global golden corn belt”, and is an important national processing and production base of cereals and meat. Compared with many other provinces, animal husbandry plays a relatively more important role in Jilin, accounting for 46% of the gross output value of the agricultural sector in 2016.

Composition of GDP (%)


Source: Jilin Statistical Yearbook 2017

Jilin is an old industrial base. Its industrial structure is heavily skewed towards heavy industry, accounting for 66% of the gross industrial output in 2016. The province is strong in machinery, petrochemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, metallurgy and forest industries. Automobiles and petrochemicals are being identified as the pillar industries of the province, represented by the Changchun First Automobile Manufacturing Factory (長春第一汽車製造廠), Jilin Oil Field and the Hong Kong-listed Jilin Chemical Industry Corporation.

Share of Leading Industry Groups (2016)

 % share of gross industrial output#
Manufacture of automotive25.2
Processing of food from agricultural products13.7
Medical and pharmaceutical product8.5
Manufacture of non-metallic mineral products7.2
Chemical raw materials and chemical products6.7
Manufacture of food & beverage4.9
Processing of timber4.0
Smelting and pressing of ferrous metals2.2

# For all state-owned enterprises and other forms with annual sales over RMB20 million
Source: Jilin Statistical Yearbook 2017

Thanks to its strong agricultural sector with unique produce such as herbs from Changbai Mountain (長白山), Jilin has advantages in processing of food and medicine manufacturing. For the tertiary industry, wholesale & retail trade, transport & storage & post, information transmission & computer services, and education are the major services sectors.


Jilin owns a lot of well-known natural and human landscape: the biggest crater lake of China – the Sky Pond of the Changbai Mountain (長白山天池), one of the “four natural wonders in China” – the Jilin rime (吉林霧凇), etc.

In 2016, Jilin received 164 million (+17.4) domestic tourists and 1.62 million (+9.4%) overseas tourists, bringing revenues of RMB284.6 billion (+28.2%) and US$791 million (+9.3%) respectively. The total number of tourists from Hong Kong and Macao grew by 5.7% to 111,713 in 2016.

Foreign Trade

Major exports included garment and clothing, corn and grist, steel, motor vehicles, veneer, etc. Major export markets were South Korea, the US, Japan, Germany and Russia. In 2016, exports to Hong Kong stood at US$87 million.

Major imports included auto-parts, instruments for checking and measuring, iron ore, etc. Germany was the major import source of Jilin, accounting for 42.9% of the province’s total imports in 2016. Other major import sources were Japan, the US, Hungary and Belgium.

Jilin has organised different trade fairs in recent years to boost trade. There are important fairs on automobile and autoparts (China Changchun International Automobile Fair 中國長春國際汽車博覽會), optical goods (China International Optoelectronic Expo 光博會), agricultural products (長春農博會) and the China Northeast Asia Expo (中國東北亞博覽會), etc.

Foreign Investment

Chart: Utilised FDI of Jilin
Chart: Utilised FDI of Jilin

Foreign investments were mainly involved in manufacturing of transportation equipment, food processing, computer application and software, producing and supply of gas, as well as pharmaceutical products. Foreign investments are encouraged in the sectors of auto parts, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, optical and electronics, infrastructure and public utilities.

Changchun and Jilin City are the two leading cities in attracting foreign investment, accounting for 53.4% and 12.2% of the province’s total utilised FDI in 2016.

Consumer Market

In 2016, annual per capita disposal income of urban households reached RMB26,530 (+6.5%). Major consumer centres are located in Changchun and Jilin City.

Composition of Per Capita Expenditure of Urban Household (%)

 Food, alcohol & tobacco 47.425.9
 Clothing 17.99.5
 Household articles 5.35.8
 Medicine & medical services 4.510.7
 Transportation & communications 4.514.0
 Recreation, cultural & education 8.012.4
 Housing & utilities 8.318.7

Source: Jilin Statistical Yearbook 1997, 2017

Major local department stores and shopping centres in Jilin include Changchun Department Store (長春百貨大樓), Jilin Dongfang Shopping Arcade (吉林東方商廈), Zhuozhan Square (卓展時代廣場), etc.

Economic Indicators of Major Cities (2016)

(RMB bn)
Per Capita GDP
Gross Industrial Output*
(RMB bn)
Retail Sales
(RMB bn)
 Changchun (長春)  598.679,434915.2265.0
 Jilin (吉林)  245.457,818322.4144.7
 Siping (四平)  119.436,732196.760.6
 Tonghua (通化)  94.842,979235.353.2
 Songyuan (松原)  165.259,413213.766.9

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

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