International economic and trade links
As one of the first batch of provinces in China to open up to the outside world, Zhejiang has established direct economic and trade links with more than 230 countries and regions around the world.
The province has achieved a high level of diversification in its companies trading abroad, its export markets, its export producers and other ways of trading. Foreign-invested enterprises, plus state-owned and state-controlled enterprises, are making joint efforts to exploit international opportunities. By 2015, Zhejiang’s provincial GDP was 4.29 trillion yuan ($646.27 billion), an increase of 8 percent compared with the previous year. The import and export volume of Zhejiang totaled 2.16 trillion yuan, with exports volume reaching 1.72 trillion yuan, and imports volume reaching 439.2 billion yuan.
The makeup of exports has been further optimized, with products including mechanical and electrical items, as well as hi-tech products. Imports are comprised mainly of fossil fuels and equipment. What’s more, the province has attached great importance to adding value to conventional products, such as light industrial textiles.
Zhejiang Investment and Trade Symposium, which is held each June, China Hangzhou West Lake International Expo and Yiwu International Small Commodity Expo, are all key platforms serving the ever increasing demand for closer economic ties between Zhejiang and the world.
There were 55,905 foreign-invested enterprises that had settled in Zhejiang by 2015, with total investments of 3.414 trillion yuan, and foreign investment currently being utilized of 1.052 trillion yuan.
There were also 7,816 government-approved enterprises and institutions operating abroad in 2015, covering more than 140 countries and regions, with foreign direct investment (FDI) of 276.59 billion yuan.
Zhejiang enterprises also established enterprise zones through direct investment in Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, Uzbekistan, Nigeria and Serbia.
The year saw a dramatic increase in the utilization of foreign capital in industries involved in high-end manufacturing, hi-tech products, modern services, and renewable forms of energy.
The province encourages enterprises to seek development opportunities abroad, which accounts for the fast development of the Zhejiang’s investment and economic cooperation with foreign countries.