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Tianjin: Market Profile

Major Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators2015Jan-Sep 2016
(%, y-o-y)
(%, y-o-y)
Gross Domestic Product (RMB bn)1,653.89.311,333.99.11
Per Capita GDP (RMB)107,9606.61
Added Value Output
   Primary industry (RMB bn)20.92.5114.42.71
   Secondary industry (RMB bn)770.49.21601.88.41
   Tertiary industry (RMB bn)862.59.61717.79.81
Value-added Industrial Output2 (RMB bn)9.318.81
Fixed-assets Investment (RMB bn)1,306.612.11,165.811.2
Retail Sales (RMB bn)525.710.9411.97.3
Inflation (Consumer Price Index, %)1.71.9
Exports (US$ bn)51.2-2.733.8-12.5
   By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ bn)32.1-4.620.1-16.7
Imports (US$ bn)63.2-22.342.8-9.9
   By foreign-invested enterprises (US$ bn)35.1-19.722.2-17.0
Utilised Foreign Direct Investment (US$ bn)

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

Sources: Tianjin Statistical Yearbook 2016, Tianjin Statistical Bureau, China’s Customs Statistics 12.2015, 9.2016

General Background

Tianjin has a total area of 11,917 sq kilometres. Total population stood at 15.47 million in 2015. Tianjin is one of the four autonomous municipalities (直轄市) along with Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, and is an integral part of the Bohai Bay Economic Zone (環渤海經濟區), which is one of the three biggest economic regions in China.

With a view to strengthening Tianjin’s position as the economic centre of the Bohai Bay region, priority has been given to the development of the Binhai New Area. Preferential policies have been given by the State Council to support the development of the Binhai New Area. In 2015, GDP of the Binhai New Area grew by 12.8% to reach RMB927 billion.

The China (Tianjin) Pilot Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) was officially launched in April 2015 as part of China's second batch of free trade zones following the establishment of the Shanghai FTZ. Its strategic positioning is intended to make it an open platform for the collaborative development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. TJFTZ will fully leverage Tianjin Port’s advantages in being able to serve overseas markets, including Northeast Asia, in order to promote economic growth in Beijing, Hebei and other inland regions.

Tianjin port, as the largest comprehensive and commercial port in North China, provides services to 400 ports in more than 200 countries and regions all over the world. It handled 541 million tons of freight (+0.1%) and 14.11 million TEUs (+0.4%) in 2015. Tianjin Binhai International Airport is a major cargo freight centre in China. The city is well connected to other major cities by dozens of railroads and expressways.


Being the cradle of China’s modern mechanic industry and textile industry, Tianjin is an important industrial centre in China. However, with the rapid development of the services sectors, the share of industry in GDP has gradually declined in recent years.

Composition of GDP (%)

Primary 4.3 1.3
Secondary 50.8 46.5
   Industry 46.2 42.2
Tertiary 44.9 52.2

Source: Tianjin Statistical Yearbook 2016

Tianjin’s industrial development owes much to the rapid growth of high and new tech industry – electronics and information technology in particular. In 2015, the added-value of high-tech industry accounted for about 13.8% of Tianjin’s total added-value of industrial output, up by 1.5 percentage points. A number of high-tech enterprises, such as GMCC (環球磁卡), Jinyao Group (金耀集團), Guard Group Co. Ltd. (戈德集團) and Tasly Group (天士力集團) have become very competitive.

Share of Leading Industry Groups (2015)

 % share of gross industrial output
Smelting and pressing of ferrous metal15.3
Communication equipment, computers & other electronics 9.2
Manufacture of general and special machinery 8.6
Manufacture of motor vehicle 8.4
Manufacture of food 4.9
Raw chemical materials and chemical products 4.8
Manufacture of metal products 4.7
Processing of petroleum, coking 4.7
Manufacture of other transport equipment 4.3

Source: Tianjin Statistical Yearbook 2016

Foreign-Invested enterprises (FIEs) including those from Hong Kong and Taiwan have contributed greatly to Tianjin’s industry growth, particularly in high and new tech industry. In 2015, FIEs’ industrial output value accounted for 36% of Tianjin’s gross industrial output.

In 2015, output value of heavy industry accounted for 77% of the total industrial output. Large and medium-sized enterprises accounted for 74% of the total output.

Tianjin’s service sector develops rapidly. In 2015, wholesale and retail trades, finance, were the two largest service industries, accounting for 24%, and 18.6%of the total added value in service sector respectively.


Various tourist routes such as visiting former residence of celebrities (名人故居遊), famous street travel (名街休閑遊), Xiqing Folk Custom travel (西青民俗遊) and Binhai New Area travel (濱海風情遊) have been launched in Tianjin.

 2015% change
Number of overseas tourist (million)3.26+10.1
Foreign exchange income (US$ bn)3.298+10.2

Source: Tianjin Statistical Yearbook 2016

Foreign Trade

Major exports include mechanical and electronic products. In 2015, high and new technology products accounted for 38.5% of the city’s total exports. Major export markets were the US, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Hong Kong. In 2015 exports to Hong Kong amounted to US$2,880 million, or 5.6% of Tianjin’s total exports.

Major imports were machinery & transport equipment, non-edible raw materials. Major import sources were South Korea, the US, Japan, Australia and Germany.

Foreign Investment

In 2015, 52.1% of the utilised FDI went to the manufacturing sector.

Chart: Utilised FDI of Tianjin
Chart: Utilised FDI of Tianjin

Hong Kong is the leading investor in Tianjin. By the end of 2015, utilised investment from Hong Kong amounted to US$68.4 billion (45% of the total cumulative utilised FDI up to 2015). In 2015 alone, utilised investment from Hong Kong stood at US$9.35 billion. Other major sources of foreign investment included Japan, Korea, the US and Singapore.

Consumer Market

In 2015, Tianjin’s annual per capita disposal income of urban households reached RMB34,101 (+8.2%).

Composition of Per Capita Expenditure of Urban Household (%)

 Food 40.1 32.2
 Clothing 8.9 8.2
 Household facilities, articles & services 11.8 6.1
 Medicine & medical services 6.6 7.2
 Transportation & communications 5.7 13.0
 Recreation, cultural & education 12.9 8.7
 Residence 9.2 21.6

Source: Tianjin Statistical Yearbook 2016

Some international famous supermarket companies have established chain stores in Tianjin, which include Metro, Walmart and Carrefour. Shanghai Lianhua, Jiangsu Suning, Beijing Gome and other domestic famous trade enterprises also set up supermarkets in Tianjin.

Binhai New Area

Economic Indicators
(%, y-o-y)
 Gross Domestic Product (RMB bn) 927.0 12.8 #
 Value-added Industrial Output (RMB bn) 545.7 13.6 #
 Retail Sales (RMB bn) 119.7 4.4
 Exports (US$ bn) 30.4 -5.2

Notes: # In real terms
Source: Tianjin Binhai New Area Government

Binhai New Area has a total developed area of 304 sq kilometres. Total population stood at 2.97 million in 2015.

Binhai New Area is established in 1994, located to the east coastal area of Tianjin. The Area comprises three functional districts – Tianjin Port, TEDA (Tianjin Economic Development Area), TPFTZ (Tianjin Port Free Tax Zone), and five administrative districts – Tanggu District, Hanggu District, Dagang District, Wuxia Subdistrict of Dongli District and Gegu Town of Jinnan District.

In order to change the current development situation of “fast in the south, but slow in the north”, the Chinese government is determined to establish the Binhai New Area as the third economic hub, after Shenzhen and Shanghai Pudong, with a view to stimulate development in the northern part of the country.



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