Additionally, the province continues to further its opening-up. The total volume of its foreign trade in 2017 was 1.78 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 15.2 percent. In 2017, the number of newly founded foreign-invested enterprises totaled 1,479, with contractual foreign capital reaching 186.08 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 32.5 percent. Shandong's foreign investment totaled 37.75 billion yuan.
Shandong also shows great competitiveness in large foreign contract projects in all fields. Seven Shandong enterprises were included on the 2017 list of the world's top 250 international contractors prepared by Engineering News Records. The figure seven puts Shandong among the top provinces as it's a solid share of the 68 Chinese enterprises on the list.
There are a total of 136 provincial-level development zones and 37 State-level development zones in the province, including Qingdao West Coast New Area, Jinan Hi-tech Industrial Development and Shandong Peninsula National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone.
4. Industrial Clusters
Shandong has been dominant in agriculture, and is renowned as "China's most outstanding agricultural province". Its output of agricultural products has been the highest in the country for many years. In 2017 the added value of agriculture totaled 280.23 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 4.6 percent. Shandong tops the nation's tables for total output of vegetables (106.18 million tons), fruit (32.96 million tons), and meat, eggs and milk (14.88 million tons).
Additionally, it enjoys an advanced marine economy accounting for one-fifth of the national economic aggregate in that sector, and it has established more than 240 marine ranches over 19,000 hectares.
Shandong is also the major producer and supplier of petroleum, coal and nonferrous metals, having the most gold reserves and output, as well as abundant sea salt. Revenue from the main business operations of the province's chemical, building materials and medicine industries all rank first in the country, while that from light machinery, textiles, and metallurgical industries all rank third.
The province's service industry has been developing at a fast pace for many years. Its added value in 2017 reached 3.49 trillion yuan, ranking third in the country, contributing 56.4 percent of the province's total GDP and increasing GDP by 4.2 percent
In recent years, Shandong has been striving to accelerate its conversion of old and new kinetic energy, covering five emerging industries – new-generation information technology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy and new materials, healthcare and maritime industries, as well as five traditional competitive industries – modern agriculture, tourism, modern finance, cultural creative and green chemicals.
5. Scientific and Technological Innovation
Shandong province has a strong foundation in scientific and technological innovation. The international patent applications via the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) of Shandong province in 2017 numbered 1,700, an increase of 21.5 percent yearly while domestic patent applications reached 68,000. In 2017, it had 19 projects that won National Science and Technology Awards.
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