Business in China / Economy Overview


About 45 percent of China's labor force is engaged in agriculture. There are over 300 million Chinese farm workers - mostly laboring on small pieces of land relative to U.S. farms.

Virtually all arable land is used for food crops. China is the world's largest producer of rice and is among the principal sources of wheat, corn (maize), tobacco, soybeans, peanuts (groundnuts), cotton, potatoes, sorghum, tea, millet, barley, oilseed, pork, and fish. Agricultural exports, such as vegetables and fruits, fish and shellfish, grain and grain products, and meat and meat products, are exported to Hong Kong.


In 2001, China's total energy consumption was projected to double by 2020. Energy consumption grew at nearly 10 percent per year between 2000 and 2005, more than twice the yearly rate of the previous two decades.

China is the world's second-largest consumer of oil, after the United States, and for 2006, China's increase in oil demand represented 38% of the world total increase in oil demand. China is also the third-largest energy producer in the world, after the United States and Russia. China's electricity consumption is expected to grow by over 4% a year through 2030, which will require more than $2 trillion in electricity infrastructure investment to meet the demand.


Industry and construction account for about 48% of China's GDP. Around 8% of the total manufacturing output in the world comes from China itself. China ranks third worldwide in industrial output.

Major industries include mining and ore processing; iron and steel; aluminum; coal; machinery; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemical; fertilizers; food processing; automobiles and other transportation equipment including rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; consumer products including footwear, toys, and electronics; telecommunications and information technology.

Steel Industry:
China is the largest producer of steel in the world and the steel industry has been rapidly increasing its steel production. Iron ore production kept pace with steel production in the early 1990s but was soon outpaced by imported iron ore and other metals in the early 2000s. Steel production, an estimated 140 million tons in 2000, was increased to 419 million tons in 2006.

Automotive Industry:
By 2006 China had become the world’s third largest automotive vehicle manufacturer (after US and Japan) and the second largest consumer (only after US).

The vehicle export was 78,000 units in 2004, 173,000 units in 2005, and 340,000 units in 2006. The vehicle and component export is targeted to reach US$70 billion by 2010.


China's number of Internet users topped 137 million by the end of 2006,an increase of 23.4% from a year before and 162 million by June 2007, making China the second largest Internet user after the United States, according to China's Ministry of Information Industry (MII).

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China's mobile phone penetration rate is 34% in 2007. In 2006, mobile phone users sent 429 billion text messages, or on average 967 text messages per user. For 2006, the number of fixed-lines grew by 79%, mainly in the rural areas

Mineral Resources

China is well endowed with mineral resources, the most important of which is coal .

China's mineral resources include large reserves of coal and iron ore, plus adequate to abundant supplies of nearly all other industrial minerals .

China also produces a fairly wide range of nonmetallic minerals. One of the most important of these is salt , which is derived from coastal evaporation sites in Jiangsu, Hebei, Shandong, and Liaoning, as well as other sites.

Key Fiscal and Economic Indicators in China (1978-2004)

China- Economic profile
The economy of the People’s Republic of China is the 2nd largest one in the world after the United States of America.

Since the late 1970s & 1980s, the economic reforms began with the shift from farming work to a system of household responsibility to start the phase out of collectivized agriculture, fiscal decentralization, the development of stock markets and the foundation of a diversified banking system.

In mid 2000, China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion, including: the sale of equity in China’s largest state banks to foreign investors and refinements in foreign exchange and bond markets.

The two most important sectors of the Chinese economy have been: Agriculture & Industry. As together they employ more than 70% of the labor force and produce more than 60 % of GDP.

China is the world’s largest producer of: Rice, Crude Oil, Cotton, Wheat, Tobacco, Corn and Peanuts.

China's total trade in 2006 surpassed $1.76 trillion, making China the world's third-largest trading nation after the U.S. and Germany.

The objectives for the year 2010 are to double the GNP of 2000 so that the people will enjoy even more comfortable lives, and bring a more or less complete socialist market economy into being.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 2001-2005