The Economy of Nanjing Since 2000

Nanjing, as the capital of Jiangsu Province, is one of the most important economic centers of China. As an important industrial base in East China, Nanjing has a strong industrial economic strength, accounting for about 1% of the country total in terms of gross industrial capability, and about 40% of the total economic volume of the municipality. Nanjing’s economy is mainly based on electronics, cars, petrochemicals, iron and steel, and power, referred to as the “five pillar industries”. Some representative big state-owned firms are Panda Electronics, Jincheng Motors and Nanjing Steel. The city’s GDP was RMB100 billion in 2000 and RMB501 in 2010. The ratio of its three industries of national economy has changed from 7.6:52.1:40.3(in 1995) to 5.4:48:46.6(in 2000), indicating the city’s historical transformation from a ‘secondary industry-led economy’ to a ‘secondary and tertiary industry-driven economy’. In 2010, the tertiary industry also regained prominence, accounting for 44 percent of the GDP of the city. Foreign investments, self-employed entrepreneurs, and private scientific and technological enterprises have become the important force in the city’s economic growth. What’s more, the city is vying for foreign investment against neighboring cities in the Yangtze River Delta, and so far a number of famous multinational firms, such as Volkswagen Group, Iveco, A.O. Smith, and Sharp, have established their lines there.

Primary Industry
Situated on both banks of Yangtze River with abundant resources, Nanjing is one of the important agricultural zones in the lower reaches of Yangtze River. There are 261,600 hectares of cultivated land, 71,800 hectares of forested land and 37,000 hectares of water area for breeding. During the recent 10 years, new progress has been made in agricultural restructuring. Since 2002, increased efforts have been made in restructuring of planting and breeding, with reduction in land area by 20000 hectares for grain and by 700 hectares for cotton, and increase in land area by 14700 hectares for vegetables and an increase in area by 24% over the previous year for forage grass and other green forage. In the whole municipality, the quality of bulk agricultural products has improved, and area of pollution free agricultural products bases accounts for 13.1% of the total cultivated land area. Breeding of special domestic animals and poultry and fresh water breeding have developed rapidly, with the proportion of special aquatic breeding exceeding 30%. Production in animal husbandry and fishery has been increasing continually. According to the five-year plan for 2011 to 2015 in Nanjing, the agricultural development and transformation owes to the industrial management and micro-managerial strategies. In the next five years, the city government has set the goals for further development, which includes the expansion of ecological and recreational function of agriculture, and the improvement in production conditions and the environment in suburban areas.

Secondary Industry
As stated in the beginning, the city’s industrial economic strength accounts for about 40% of its total economic value. The production scale of the electronics and information industry ranks the second place among all cities in the country. Petrochemical also ranks the second. Nanjing has the largest production plants for ethylene, aromatics and alkyl benzene in the country. What’s more, to stress its standing as one of the production bases for light automobiles and motorcycles, medium, light and mini type freight vehicles, special purpose vehicles, passenger cars, motorcycles and agricultural vehicles are made in hundreds of varieties. There are also enterprises manufacturing automobile components at high starting level. During the past five to ten years, the secondary industry of Nanjing has seen its growth in its scale, its acceleration in the pace of industrial transformation, and also its improvement in the capability of innovation. In the near future, the city is going to seize the opportunity of the regional economic integration in the Yangtze River Delta. Nanjing’s role as a gateway city will further reveal its strength.

Tertiary Industry
With the step by step standardization of Nanjing’s business market, the enhancement of management level, and the improvement of its business environment, the city Nanjing is utilizing its unique geographic advantage and its position as a famous historic and cultural city to become the commodity distributing center and trading center in East China. Since Nanjing is a famous historic city, the tourism industry is also very prosperous, accounting for 23% of its total GDP in 2010. The development of Nanjing’s tertiary industry has kept its growth even in the hard time of the economy around 2009. In the first half year of 2009, the growth exceeded RMB100 billion, greater than the number in both the primary and secondary industry. According to Mr. Xia, the spokesperson of the city’s bureau of statistics, the amount is even greater than the whole production scale of the tertiary industry in 2004. Xia also commented that the inverse development of the tertiary industry reflects the change in Nanjing’s economic growth pattern. The ratio changed from 2.2:47.9:49.9 in the first half year of 2008 to 2.2:43.3:54.5 in 2009, with a 4.6% growth in the tertiary industry, marking a new record since 2000.

New Trends
Over the years, Nanjing has been increasing its global competitiveness by focusing on building an all-rounded society, supporting market-oriented reform and opening-up in various aspects, speeding up its strategic readjustment of economic structure, and building up infrastructures for industries. According to the city’s official website, Nanjing’s economic development in the near future will follow the following principle. That is to improve the development of pillar industries including electronics, cars, petrochemicals, etc, to accelerate the development of new industries including radio and television photovoltaic, power automation and intelligent power grid, etc, and to prioritize the development of modern service industries including info-communications, the software and service outsourcing, etc. This is called the implementation of the “4+8+8” industrial development planning. The city will accelerate the establishment of a modern industrial system, with the innovation in science and technology as the guide, the advanced manufacturing industry as the foundation, the modern service industry as a leading role, and the urban ecological efficient agriculture as the support. The future of Nanjing’s economic development awaits us with both opportunities and challenges.