Thanks to the newly diversified economy of China Tianjin has seen significant changes in industries and service sectors
Tianjin is a municipality in northern China southeast of Beijing, in Bohai Bay – and one of China’s four largest economic regions. With a growth rate that has exceeded 10% every year since 2004, it is one of the fastest growing cities in China and has the highest per capita GDP in the country.
Tianjin’s diverse economy encompasses many industries, including tech, manufacturing, telecommunications, shipping and logistics, aerospace, oil, tourism and agriculture. It is developing as the main economic zone in northeastern China, similar to that of Shenzhen and Shanghai.
While Tianjin is mainly known for its manufacturing and technology sectors, the development of Tianjin ‘s Binhai New Area laid the foundation for the municipality to become China’s largest financial center.
The Binhai New Area was established in 1994 in the eastern coastal city of Tianjin. The area includes three functional districts: Tianjin Port, TEDA (Tianjin Economic Development Area), TPFTZ (Tianjin Free Port Area) and five administrative districts.
In order to change the development situation of “fast in the south, but slow in the north” the Chinese government has established Binhai as the third economic hub, after Shenzhen and Shanghai, to stimulate growth in the northern part of the country.
In order to strengthen Tianjin’s position as the economic center of the Bohai Bay region, priority has been given to the development of the Binhai New Area.
Tianjin has a total area of 11,917 square kilometers. The total population has reached 15.47 million. It is one of the four autonomous municipalities (直轄市) together with Beijing, Shanghai, and Chongqing. To strengthen its position, the Council of State has provided preferential policies to support the development of this new area. In 2015, Binhai’s GDP grew 12.8% to reach RMB 927 billion.
In the same year, the China Free Trade Area (TJFTZ) was officially launched as part of the second batch of China free trade zones following the creation of the Shanghai FTZ. Its strategic positioning has marked its destiny, making it an open platform for collaborative development in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
Tianjin is the largest port in mainland China – its international airport makes it a hub for global trade
Tianjin has the fourth largest port in mainland China. In the 21st century, the city has evolved rapidly into a modern metropolis. Over 110 of the main international companies (such as Boeing, Airbus, Toyota, and Samsung ) operated in Tianjin, and the municipality received billions of dollars in direct investment, especially since 2012, mainly from Hong Kong and the United States.
Agriculture as a percentage of production has decreased with the increase in production considered until recently the most important industry. Even the tertiary industries such as financial services have grown rapidly until the services have surpassed production. As early as 2013, Tianjin’s capital GDP was the highest in mainland China.
TJFTZ can take full advantage of the Tianjin Port, able to serve overseas markets, including Northeast Asia, in order to promote economic growth in Beijing, Hebei and other inland regions.
The port of Tianjin, as the largest commercial and global port in the north of China, provides services to 400 ports in over 200 countries and regions around the world. Tianjin Binhai International Airport is a major freight center in China. The city is well connected to other large cities by dozens of railways and highways, creating an important network even before the Belt and Road initiative was discussed.
Industries: Tianjin is an important industrial center in China despite the rapid development of service industries
As the cradle of modern Chinese manufacturing and textiles, Tianjin is an important industrial center in China. However, with the rapid development of service sectors, its share of industrial GDP has gradually declined in recent years.
The companies with foreign participation (FIE) including Hong Kong and Taiwan, have contributed greatly to the growth of Tianjin, in particular in the field of new technologies. In 2015, the value of FIE’s industrial output represented 36% of Tianjin’s gross industrial output.
The value of heavy industry production represented 77% of total industrial production. Large and medium-sized enterprises accounted for 74% of total production. The Tianjin service sector has developed rapidly. The activities of wholesale and retail trade and finance were the two major service industries, accounting for 24% and 18.6% of total value added in the service sector, respectively.
The city supports scientific and technological innovation: this favors the production of traditional industry
Tianjin claims to have reached the twelfth five-year plan (2011-15) , with a total GDP of 1.65 trillion yuan ($ 252 billion), an annual increase of 12.4%, supporting scientific innovation and improving the competitiveness of its industries , transforming its economic structure with the service industry accounting for 52% of its economy, surpassing manufacturing.
The total production of the traditional Tianjin industry has exceeded 3 billion yuan and there are new industrial bases in electronics, petrochemicals and other areas, thanks to the new vitality provided by the reforms. Its pilot free trade area in China (Tianjin) is in operation and, streamlining its administration and delegating more power to lower levels, has increased administrative efficiency.
The private sector is also developing rapidly, accounting for 46.7% of Tianjin’s GDP and opening up more to the outside world and attracting 1.55 billion yuan in domestic investment and US$85 trillion of foreign investment with 162 of the Global Top 500 and 216 Chinese Top 500 investing here.
At the same time, the Binhai New Area has contributed to the development, particularly in the city center and surrounding counties, with a GDP growth of 17.9% per year and representing at least 55% of Tianjin’s total GDP.
The neighboring counties have seen a robust development, with 31 model industrial parks that have collected plans for 54 model cities. Additionally, 70,000 farmers have moved to better homes in the cities, creating the opportunity for different sources of income, such as income from rent or shares.
Living standards have continued to grow shown through progress in employment and housing, with 2.4 million jobs created in the last 5 years and per capita income of city dwellers increasing by 10, 2 percent a year.
There are 505,000 more housing units and another 50,000 households receiving housing subsidies. The renovations of the older buildings in the city center and the ruined buildings in the rural areas are over, with an advantage of 3.4 million people.
With the 13th five-year plan (2016-20) and, despite the economic slowdown, the economy continues to grow and shows progress, with GDP up 9.1%, revenues up 12.8% and investments of 13.8%, in particular, domestic investments increased by 12.3% and foreign investments increased by 12.6%.
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