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Xi’an and Economic Trends

Xi’an, located in Northwest China, is the capital of Shaanxi Province and its most populous city, hosting 33% of the province’s population with a total registered population of almost 13 million in 2020. The total area is 10,108 km2. Xi’an is a sub-provincial city and it has 11 districts, 7 national and provincial key development zones and manages a national-level new area, namely Xixian New Area.

Located in the Guanzhong plain, Xi’an was built in the middle of the Yellow River basin. It is bounded by Linghe and Bayuan Mountains to the east, is delimited by the main ridge of the Qinling Mountains from north to south and is bordered by the Weihe River to the north. Due to its geographical location in the center of the country, Xi’an is an important transportation hub for the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei.

Xi’an’s railway station is one of the eight major national railway stations, and the main railway transportation hub of Shaanxi Province. Xi’an Xianyang International Airport is the major airport serving the city and it is the largest airport in the northwestern part of China.

Xi’an is one of China’s most traditional cities. The Terracotta Warriors and Horses of Emperor Qin Shihuang’s mausoleum, known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987 and attract almost 2 million tourists each year.

In 2020, Xi’an’s GDP reached 1,002.039 billion RMB with an increase of 7% compared to the previous year. The average urban wage is 43,713 RMB marking an increment of 4.5% over 2019.

In the first three quarters of 2021, the total import and export volume was 4.89 trillion USD, a year-on-year increase of 31.9%, and the scale exceeded that of last year and reached a new record high. Net exports of goods and services contributed 19.5% to GDP growth, driving GDP growth by 1.9 percentage points.

Through its innovation-oriented development strategy, the ancient city has become an attractive destination for talent at various levels, hosting more than 104,000 talents in its industries in 2020 only.

Main Sectors in Xi’an:

  • information technology

  • electronics

  • biopharmaceuticals

  • automobile manufacturing

Main Industrial Areas in Xi’an:

  • Xi’an High-tech Industrial Development Zone

  • Xi’an Economic and Technological Development Zone

  • Xi’an Yanliang National Aviation Industry Base

  • Xi’an International Port Area

  • Xixian New District

(Shaanxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone

Most of the areas under the jurisdiction of the China (Shaanxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone, established in 2017 covering an area of 119.95 km2, are located in Xi’an. The 2018 “Guanzhong Plain Urban Agglomeration Development Plan” supported the development of Xi’an, an international global transport hub and an international metropolis with historical and cultural characteristics.

By introducing international investment and trade best practices, the Shaanxi FTZ has established a conducive and globally oriented business environment. This has resulted in the emergence of a cluster of high-end industries capable of attracting first-class investment and trade facilitation services. A legally stable business environment has facilitated the implementation of both the Belt and Road Initiative and the development of the western region.

In 2018 the Xi’an area Pilot Free Trade Zone introduced 21,116 new market entities with a combined registered capital of 197.82 billion USD.


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