In China, almost every once in a while, there will be a city whose GDP steps across the trillion GDP threshold. Although GDP is not the only factor to consider when making a comment on a city, it does represent the economic strength of a city.
Foshan broke through the 100 trillion mark in the latest GDP ranking in 2019. It is the third city in Guangdong Province that hit this number after the first-tier cities Shenzhen and Guangzhou. This has attracted the attention of many people. The land size of Foshan is only about 1/2500 of the land of China but Foshan has created nearly 1% of GDP. It means this city now has become one of the representatives in terms of Guangdong’s high-quality economic development.
Many places divide industries into three major industries in order to manage by classification. So what are the performances of Foshan’s three major industries?
In 2019, the preliminary calculation of the total GDP of Foshan City was 107.5102 billion yuan, with an increase of 6.9% over the previous year. Among them, the added value of the primary industry was 15.692 billion yuan, an increase of 3.0%; the added value of the secondary industry was 604.462 billion yuan, an increase of 6.3%; the added value of the tertiary industry was 454.948 billion yuan, an increase of 8.1%.
Foshan uses modern industrial production concepts and scientific and technological means to promote the transformation of traditional agriculture to tourism, ecology, urban and agricultural exports.
In 2019, the planting area of grain crops was 124,000 mu (mu is the unit of land area under China’s municipal system. One mu is equal to 60 square feet, about 666.667 square meters), a decrease of 0.2% over the previous year. The vegetable planting area was 497,700 mu, an increase of 1.8 %. The sown area of cash crops was 165,700 mu, 6.0% down.
The annual grain output was 43,900 tons, with an increase of 2.6% over the previous year. Vegetable output was 846,300 tons, an increase of 1.7% and garden fruit output was 44,200 tons, an increase of 3.5%.
Foshan is not only a city that is strong in manufacturing but also a city of many private-owned companies. 90% of the companies in Foshan are non-state owned. They contribute 60% of GDP, 70% of tax revenue, and 80% of industrial added value to Foshan. The economy from private-owned companies is the mainstay of Foshan’s economy.
Foshan’s GDP has exceeded one trillion yuan thanks to the great contributions made by the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing industry has always been the root and soul of Foshan’s economic development. In 2018, the total output value of industrial enterprises reached 2.16 trillion yuan, ranking sixth in China’s large and medium-sized cities. Foshan’s industrial system is relatively sound and covers almost all manufacturing industries. Equipment manufacturing, home appliances, ceramic building materials, textiles and clothing, food and beverage, and other traditional industries have outstanding advantages. Emerging industries such as automobiles and new energy vehicles, optoelectronics, and new materials are booming, and the supporting rate of major industries in the local industry is up to 90%. Since 2019, Foshan’s economic development momentum has been good. In the first three quarters, Foshan’s regional GDP reached 793.179 billion yuan, an increase of 7.0%, which was 0.8 and 0.6 percentage points higher than that of the whole country and the whole province respectively.
The economic development pattern of Foshan has been supported by ten major industries and has become the main economic pillar, including household appliances, Opto-mechatronics, electronic information and equipment manufacturing, ceramics and other building materials, textile and clothing, metal material processing and products, plastic products, chemical and pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and household products manufacturing. The output value of the ten industries accounts for more than 80% of the total industrial output value.
Private-owned companies are an important force of Foshan’s economy, which is the main feature and advantage that distinguishes Foshan from other cities. Over the years, Foshan has issued a series of policies and measures to promote the development and growth of private enterprises, which provides a good environment for enterprises to develop in terms of policies, funds, resources, and services.
Foshan is one of the six “Capitals of Brands” in China. Well-known enterprises in Foshan include Fosu Group, Foshan Lighting, Osram Lighting, Foshan Ceramics, Pulihua Camera, Haitian Seasoning, Huaxin Packaging, Eagle Ceramics, Dongpeng Ceramics, Kelong Electrical Appliances, Midea Electrical Appliances, Galanz Electrical Appliances, Chigo Air Conditioning, Wanjiale Water Heater, Jianlibao Beverage, Good Helper Automotive Electronics, Yida Textile, Huarun Coatings, Foshan Rifeng, Country Garden Real Estate, Li Ning Sportswear, Federal. Gordon, etc.
& domestic trade
Foreign trade, as an important indicator to measure the activity of the international market, its data fluctuation has always been the focus of the economy. The story of the foreign trade in Foshan can be traced back to the Southern Song Dynasty. With a good foundation of light industrial manufacturing and a superior geographical location adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao, Foshan’s foreign trade has brought impetus and support to the development of local enterprises and promoted the economic development of Foshan.
Also, the adjustment of national foreign trade policy has also made Foshan’s foreign trade develop rapidly and given great support to economic development.
Foreign trade is an important fulcrum for building an open economic structure, and it is also the main channel for its strong manufacturing industry to connect with the world. It is worth mentioning that in 2019, Foshan foreign trade ranked first in terms of incremental contribution to the province.
Now let’s see some data.
The total import and export volume of the year was 482.76 billion yuan, an increase of 5.0% over the previous year. The export amount was 372.77 billion yuan, an increase of 5.7%; the import amount was 109.99 billion yuan, an increase of 2.6%. The foreign trade surplus was 262.78 billion yuan.
In terms of trade methods, general trade exports were 203.01 billion yuan, an increase of 5.3% over the previous year; processing trade exports were 129.97 billion yuan, a decrease of 2.3%. In terms of export products, the export of mechanical and electrical products was 203.37 billion yuan, an increase of 6.8%; the export of high-tech products was 25.36 billion yuan, an increase of 13.2%. In terms of export markets, exports to the Hong Kong market were 42.88 billion yuan, 4.6% down; exports to the US market were 55.78 billion yuan, 3.5% down.
In the whole year, 702 new foreign-invested enterprises were approved. The contracted foreign investment amounted to 11.489 billion yuan. The actual foreign direct investment used was 5.113 billion yuan, of which 51.05% was in manufacturing, 18.42% in real estate, and 6.41% in wholesale and retail.
What about domestic trade?
The total retail sales of consumer goods increased by 7.0% over the previous year. In terms of regions, the retail sales of consumer goods in urban areas increased by 7.3%, and the retail sales of consumer goods in rural areas increased by 5.6%. In terms of consumption patterns, retail sales of goods increased by 7.0%, and catering revenue increased by 6.8%.
The retail sales of grain, oil, and food increased by 18.1%; the retail sales of clothing, shoes, and hats, and knitwear decreased by 14.0%; the retail sales of daily necessities decreased by 2.9%; the retail sales of household appliances and audio-visual equipment decreased by 1.1%; the retail sales of Chinese and Western medicines decreased by 3.1%; the retail sales of petroleum and products decreased by 5.6%, and the retail sales of automobiles decreased by 2.6%.
Foshan is continuing to thrive because of its industries. “Industry makes a city” has always been Foshan’s development philosophy and Intelligent Manufacturing will be the name card for this city in the short future. In the process of “Made in China 2025”, Foshan has explored the innovative development model of “world science and technology + Foshan manufacturing + global market“.
At the same time, the development of Guangfo city will also further optimize and upgrade Foshan’s industrial structure. Driven by the continuous upgrading of traditional advantageous industries, the incremental upgrading of modern service industries, the intelligentization of manufacturing, and the accelerated development of strategicemerging industries, Foshan’s new modern industry system will continue to improve.