Shenzhen and Economic Trends

Shenzhen is a municipality under the jurisdiction of Guangdong Province situated on the coast of the South China Sea and adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau. The city covers an area of 1,997 km2, traversed by 362 rivers and 12 major river basins. Shenzhen has 9 administrative districts and the Dapeng New District. As of the end of 2020, the permanent resident population stood at around 18 million.


Shenzhen is located on the eastern shore of the Pearl River Estuary, with Daya Bay and Dapeng Bay to the east; the Pearl River Estuary and Lingdingyang to the west; the Shenzhen River to the south is connected to Hong Kong; and Dongguan and Huizhou are to the north. The vast sea connects the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It is the central engine of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.


Shenzhen has a world-class container hub port, the most continental port in Asia, and the fifth largest airport in China. By the end of 2019, Shenzhen Port had 15 container berths with a berthing capacity of 200,000 tons, making it the preferred port for super-large container ships in South China. There are 8 railway stations including the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed railway. Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport is an international hub airport. In 2008, Shenzhen was recognized by UNESCO as China’s first “design capital”, marking the transition from a manufacturing economy to a creative service economy through design.


In 2020, the city’s GDP was 2,767,024 billion RMB, with a growth rate of 3.1%. The annual salary of on-the-job employees was 139,436 RMB. The total value of foreign trade jumped to 3.3 trillion RMB. The value of exports was RMB 1,697 billion, up 1.5% year-on-year, accounting for 39% of Guangdong’s total exports and 9.5% of China’s exports. The value of imports was 1,353 billion RMB, a year-on-year decrease of 3.6%. The actual use of foreign capital in the whole year was 8.7 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 11.2 %.


The number of international patent applications reached 17,500, accounting for 30.6% of the national total, becoming the first national innovation-oriented city.


Main Sectors in Shenzhen:

  • hi-tech Industries

  • electronic information systems

  • advanced manufacturing and automation

  • biotechnology and new pharmaceuticals

  • new energy and energy conservation


Main Industrial Areas in Shenzhen:

  • Shenzhen High-tech Zone North District

  • Qianhai Area (Shenzhen-Hong Kong Free Trade Cooperation)

  • Shekou Area (China Merchants Bloodline Shekou Gene)

  • Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base

  • Houhai Financial Business Headquarters Economic Zone


Shenzhen Free Trade Zone

In 1980, Shenzhen was designated China’s first Special Economic Zone, serving as a pioneer and test zone for the country’s subsequent reform, opening-up and contemporary re-development. Since 1 July 2010, the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone has been extended to the entire city.


The Shenzhen FTZ is a special economic zone where companies registered there can benefit from advantageous trade policies, such as exemption from paying tax duties, a lower corporate tax rate of 15%, simplified and streamlined customs procedures, 0% exchange rate.


Shenzhen is a national economic center, a center of technological innovation and a major trade and logistics hub and is considered the hardware capital of the world.


In the first three quarters of 2021, the added value of registered companies increased by 7.4%, with an average growth of 8.3% over two years.


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