SHENZHEN’S import and export trade volume increased by 436.9 percent in the 20 years since China joined the WTO in 2001, from 568.18 billion yuan (US$89.22 billion) in 2001 to 3.05 trillion yuan in 2020, according to Shenzhen Customs.

A bird’s-eye view of the Yantian Port in Yantian District. Liao Wanyu

The city’s average annual import and export volume growth was 9.2 percent during the period, and its exports have ranked first among Chinese cities for 28 years in a row.

Shenzhen’s imports and exports broke new records in 2004 and 2007, surpassing 1 trillion yuan and 2 trillion yuan, respectively. Meanwhile, from 2002 to 2007, the city’s imports and exports maintained a double-digit annual growth.

Shenzhen has continued deepening reform and opening up to the outside world since the Belt and Road Initiative was launched in 2013, as well as actively addressing the impact of the global financial crisis. The city’s imports and exports reached a record high of 3.34 trillion yuan that year.

The proportion of general trade in the city has increased significantly over the past 20 years, accounting for 49.1 percent of total imports and exports in 2020, up from 17.5 percent in 2001, and 50.2 percent in the first 10 months of this year.

Since 2016, private enterprises have grown to become Shenzhen’s largest foreign trade player, accounting for 59.4 percent of the total in 2020, up from 3.5 percent in 2001.

Shenzhen’s export products have evolved from simple processing and assembly to research and development, branding, design, logistics, and marketing. Mechanical and electrical products have long dominated Shenzhen’s exports.

Since China’s accession to the WTO, the number of countries and regions with trade relations to Shenzhen has increased from 192 in 2001 to 234 in 2020, according to official data. Shenzhen’s imports and exports to Belt and Road countries rose from 12.8 percent in 2013 to 22.1 percent in 2020.

(Source | Shenzhen Daily)