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Fast Facts About Shandong Province

Shandong Province is China's second-most populous province with 100.7 million people. Its capital city, Jinan, is only four and a half hours from Beijing. The province has a developed rail system, eight airports, seven seaports, including Qingdao, its largest port city and second largest city in the province. Nearly 11% of China's freight goes thru the port cities of Qingdao and Yantai.

The economy of Shandong is the third largest in China and is primarily based on agriculture and industry. According to the Department of Commerce of Shandong Province, the leading industries by sales revenue are #1) food, paper making, gold, and tires, #2) machinery, light industry and building materials, and #3) automobiles and metallurgy.

In the agriculture sector, peanuts are the leading cash crop, with cotton another major one. Other important cash crops are tobacco, hemp and fruit. Fishing is a major industry, as well. Shandong's coastline measures nearly 2100 miles, offering a rich diversity of catch, including eels, herring, shrimp, crab, scallops, abalone and sea urchins. The raising of silkworms is also an ancient industry in the province; the raw silk, however, is processed elsewhere in China. Shandong is China's leading province in terms of the value of its agriculture, bringing in nearly $940 billion in 2018.

Natural resources are also a strength of Shandong; oil and coal are major extractives. A third of the country's crude oil production occurs in Shandong. The province is China's leader in the production of raw materials and energy. Shandong has, for imports, an LNG terminal, as well.

In terms of industrial endeavors, heavy industry accounts for 67% of gross industrial output, with the chemical industry comprising 70% of that number. The former being said, the province has a reputation for its light industry, being a producer of textiles; locomotives; chemicals; tires; and machine tools. Household appliances are also important manufacturing products. Perhaps you have heard of Hai'er, which is headquartered in Shandong and manufactures in South Carolina.

The United States is fifth on Shandong's list of leading importers, behind South Korea, Brazil, Russia and Australia. According to the Department of Commerce of Shandong Province, the top imports to Shandong are: mechanical and electrical products, high-tech products, grain, iron ores and concentrates, integrated circuits, copper without forging and copper, crude oil, plastics in primary forms and copper ores and concentrates.

The U.S. is also a leading investor in the province. About 45% of foreign investment in Shandong is in manufacturing.

The above provides a quick snapshot of the economic drivers in Shandong. The province is open to foreign investment, opportunities for which are described at the provincial web site:

Compiled by Katherine McAloon

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