Hangzhou and Economic Trends

Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province and its most populous city, with a population of 12 million inhabitants in 2020. Hangzhou is classified as sub-provincial city and forms the core of the Hangzhou metropolitan area, the fourth largest in China. It comprises 10 urban districts, 1 county-level city and 2 counties covering a total area of 16,596 km2.


Sitting at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Shanghai to Ningbo, Hangzhou has been one of China’s most renowned and prosperous cities for much of the last millennium. The city grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal of China, which runs to Beijing, in the south-central portion of the Yangtze River Delta. Its West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site immediately west of the city, is among its best-known attractions, and the city center was built around its eastern and northern sides, just north of the Qiantang River.


Hangzhou is located at the intersection of a number of China's busiest rail routes. The city's main train station is Hangzhou East, which is connected to more than 50 main cities, including 12 daily trains to Beijing and more than 100 to Shanghai; some even reach Urumqi. The major airport serving the city is Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, which is one of China's top 10 airports.


In 2021, Hangzhou reported a GDP of 1.8109 trillion yuan ($284.67 billion), up 8.5% over 2020. The per capita income of urban and rural residents grew 3.9 percent and 6.7 percent respectively to 69,000 yuan and 39,000 yuan. In 2021, the total import and export volume of Hangzhou from January to October surpassed that of the entire 2020, growing 23.7% year-on-year to 559.17 billion yuan. Exports of high-tech products also saw a year-on-year increase of 38.2% to 59.69 billion yuan. The city saw robust growth in both its digital economy and manufacturing industry in 2020.


Hangzhou is home to some global Internet industry leaders such as Alibaba Group and has been repeatedly rated as the best business city in mainland China by Forbes. The Hangzhou government actively promotes the development of the high-tech sector to develop a smart city, including working with companies to create public-private partnerships.


Main Sectors in Hangzhou:

  • Electronics and information

  • Medical and chemical engineering

  • Mechanical manufacturing

  • Textile and garment

  • Food and beverage


Main Industrial Areas in Hangzhou:

  • Hangzhou Economic & Technological Development Zone

  • Xiaoshan Economic and Technological Development Zone

  • Hangzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone

  • Hangzhou Qianjiang Economic Development Zone

  • Singapore-Hangzhou Science & Technology Park


Hangzhou Free Trade Zone

The Hangzhou area of the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone covers a total area of 37.51 km2 and was approved in 2020 by the State Council as an expansion of the existing Zhoushan FTZ. It is a nation-leading pilot development zone for next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, a national-level fin-tech innovative development pilot zone, and a world-class cross-border e-commerce demonstration center. The FTZ helps science and technology companies improve their credit by helping them attract innovative resources to solve their funding challenges.


In 2020 the Zhejiang FTZ welcomed over 28,000 new companies and its imports and exports reached 480 billion RMB. The foreign capital in actual use approached $1.2 billion, accounting for 14% and 8% of Zhejiang’s foreign trade and foreign investment, respectively.


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