Located in south-central China to the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of the Dongting Lake, Hunan province is one of the key regions across the nation in terms of economic development both regionally and nationally.
Covering a total land area of 211,800 square kilometers, Hunan is surrounded by mountains and hills in the east, west and south, comprising of hills and basins in the center and plains in the north.
With abundant sunshine, long frostless periods and rains, the province has a humid climate with four distinct seasons. The annual sunshine duration is 1,300 to 1,800 hours. The annual average temperature is between 16 C and 18 C. The frostless period is as long as 260-310 days.
Hunan is rich in both nonferrous and nonmetallic minerals. To date, geologists have confirmed reserves of 143 different minerals in the province. The province also has extensive network of rivers, cultivated land, forests and grasslands, as well as abundant resources of animals and plants.
Based on its geographic advantages and solid economic foundations, Hunan has taken innovative development as a new engine to boost its economic growth, with a relatively complete policy-support system and technology innovation system.
The province has a complete range of industrial production, including tobacco, steel, electricity, chemicals, nonferrous metals, building materials, transportation equipment, agricultural and sideline processing, specialized equipment manufacturing and petroleum processing industry. There are 14 national development zones, one comprehensive bonded zone, 67 provincial development zones, and 29 industrial concentration districts.
Last year, Hunan's GDP reached 3.459 trillion yuan, up 8 percent year-on year. Total import and export value was 243 billion yuan, an increase of 39.8 percent over the previous year. Hunan ranks fourth nationwide and tops the six provinces of central China, with exports surpassing 156 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 33.3 percent, and imports totaling 86 billion yuan, up 53.3 percent year-on-year.
Hunan has many pillar industries including foreign investment, equipment manufacturing industry, cultural industry, tea industry, tourism industry and service industry.
Equipment Manufacturing Industry
It is the first “one-trillion” industry across the province, boasting a pillar for Hunan’s industrial development. There are 136 national and provincial-level enterprises such as Zoomlion, Sany, CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, Zhuzhou Times New Material Technology, and several technical centers of equipment manufacturing, along with five national bases for industrial demonstration, nine national innovative enterprises, and a number of national engineering research centers and key laboratories in Hunan.
Located in the south central part of the Chinese mainland, Hunan has long been known for its natural beauty. Its mixture of mountains and water makes it among the most beautiful provinces in China. As the cradle of Huxiang Culture, Hunan boasts profound cultural deposits and abundant sites of historic significance and cultural heritages, which attract tourists from all over the world.
Apart from implementing the “Go global” strategy to develop cultural industry, Hunan focuses on cultivating export-oriented cultural market entities to promote Hunan cultural products abroad and increase their global market share, including porcelain, Xiang embroidery, ancient books, tea, movie, and television. The added value of Hunan's cultural industry recorded 219.6 billion yuan, accounting for 6.35 percent of its GDP last year, up 14.9 percent year-on-year.
Hunan’s tea garden area has grown to 2.15 million mu with a total yield of 232,000 tons, as released at the Hunan Provincial Tea Industry Work Conference in 2017. The industry achieved comprehensive profitability of 64.8 billion yuan in output value. Boasting distinctive characteristics, the Hunan tea industry has built its core competitiveness due to factors such as a wide variety of teas such as oolong, black, white, yellow, green, and dark tea, upgraded advantages in fine production process and brand-building.
With rich natural resources such as rivers, mountains and minerals, along with diverse ethnic cultural heritages, Hunan province is a popular tourist destination attracting millions of visitors from home and abroad every year. The revenue of its tourism industry remained stable last year, up 20 percent than the previous year. The province plans to construct 284 key tourism projects with an investment of 1.23 trillion yuan during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period. As of 2017, the added value of tourism and its related sectors in eight cities each exceeded 10 billion yuan, namely Changsha, Zhuzhou, Xiangtan, Hengyang, Yueyang, Changde, Zhangjiajie, and Chenzhou.
In 2017, the service enterprises above designated size realized revenue of 319.9 billion yuan, up 20.7 percent than the same period last year, and made a total profit of 31.55 billion yuan, up 35 year-on-year. The proportion of the tertiary industry went up by 2 percent. Workers engaged in wholesale and retail, accommodation and catering, and transportation and warehousing and postal services took the first three places, with 3.6788 million, 1.9487 million and 1.6263 million people respectively. Financial sector, scientific and technical services, health and social work witnessed the most rapid increase, growing by 17.4 percent, 16.5 percent and 15.7 percent respectively.
Linking rivers and seas, Hunan belongs to the opening-up and development belt of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Hunan holds the following competitive advantages:
First, there is a healthy natural ecosystem and abundant natural resources;
Second, the intercity traffic and external traffic are convenient, with the improving stereo-traffic network including highway, railway and shipping;
Third, scientific and technological support in the area is advanced. A number of renowned universities such as the National University of Defense Technology, the Central South University and Hunan University are located here, with many members of the Chinese Academy of Science and the Chinese Academy of Engineering such as Yuan Longping and Lu Guangxiu working here.
Forth, as an old industrial base and one of the national comprehensive high-tech industrial bases, Hunan has a good industrial foundation with many high-tech zones including the Changsha National New and Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, Chenzhou Export Processing Zone and Zhuzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.
1. Department of Commerce of Hunan Province
2. Changsha Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment