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Tianjin is one of the largest industrial port cities on China’s eastern seaboard and serves as a major national growth center. One of the five National Central Cities in the country, it is the largest coastal city in northern China and a hub for advanced industries and financial firms.

Tianjin is located in the Bohai Economic Rim, which is popular for heavy industries and manufacturing. The city has six urban districts. The central Heping district is one of the major business and commercial centers of the city, while most of Tianjin’s popular hotels, restaurants, and shops are located on the south side. Tianjin’s main international airport, Binhai International Airport, is around 8 miles (13km) east of the city center. 

Tianjin’s total GDP in 2014 was RMB 1.572 trillion (US $24 billion), while the city’s per capita GDP stood at RMB 110,259 (US $17,126).

Key Industries

Tianjin’s manufacturing sector makes up the largest part of its economy. Major industries include aviation, petrochemicals, textiles, automobiles, and metalworking. In addition, the rapid growth of the electronic and information technology industries contributed to a 19.6 percent increase in gross output value in 2013.


The global aviation industry will have a turnover of US $2.5 trillion in the next two decades, according to a report by the Oxford Economic Research Institute and Airbus in June 2009. Much of this growth is likely to be from the Asia-Pacific region, with China expected to be the world’s second largest aviation market by 2025.

The aerospace and aviation industry has grown at a rapid pace in Tianjin, particularly with Airbus’ decision to build its first final assembly line in the city in 2006. The government has built an ‘Aviation Town’ where most of the aviation industry is located. More than 50 suppliers from the U.S., Canada, France, Spain and Japan are in this zone. Chinese manufacturers and suppliers remain relatively undeveloped in comparison to the United States, creating space for U.S. companies to supply engines, avionics and other electronics to aircraft manufacturers.


The petrochemical industry contributes over 30 percent of Tianjin’s economic growth. Fuel resources consist of petroleum, natural gas and coal bed methane (CBM.) While Tianjin is rich in natural resources, including oil and gas, the technology needed to develop the local industry is still comparatively undeveloped. U.S.-based companies that manufacture products catering to the offshore oil and gas industry may find a new customer base in the Tianjin-based petrochemical industry, including for parts and supplies, technological and machine equipment, and ships.


Tianjin is famous for its metalworking industry and is home to numerous metalworking firms. These firms supply several key industries in the area, including electronics, aviation, and machinery. While the U.S. metalworking industry receives competition from Tianjin exports, U.S. companies can identify niche and complementary products to access the market, particularly the ever-growing electronics industry.

In addition, U.S. companies that specialize in advanced systems – such as avionics and other electronic systems for the aerospace and aviation industry – find an excellent market in Tianjin. Tianjin is one of the largest manufacturing bases for vehicles in China, and the largest automotive logistical center in north China. U.S. metalworking companies can supply parts to the auto and component distributors in Tianjin to tap into the growing auto industry across China.

Free Trade Zones (FTZs)

The China (Tianjin) Pilot Free Trade Zone

The Tianjin Pilot Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) consists of three zones across 46.3 square miles in Tianjin: the Tianjin Airport Economic Area, Dongjiang Free Trade Port Zone, and Binhai New Area Central Business District. The Tianjin Airport Economic area is home to around 12,000 businesses and over 160 investment projects. The Dongjiang Free Trade Port Zone hosts around 3,200 businesses and has extensive warehouse space, while the Binhai Central Business District area hosts around 2,900 businesses.

The State Council approved the overall plan for the TJFTZ on April 8, 2015, and the zone was founded on April 21. The TJFTZ will prioritize piloting programs to target administrative management, trade, investment, finance and the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The zone offers interest rate liberalization and several other exemptions on duties. The TJFTZ is an excellent avenue for U.S. businesses to access Chinese markets at minimal costs.

Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone

The Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone was established in 1991 and covers an area of 2 square miles. The zone is linked with the Beijing-Tianjin-Tanggu Expressway and several railway lines. The central government has authorized the Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone to promote international trade, organize processing, distribute goods and services, and conduct commodity fairs.

The Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone offers a fast track for freight of any nationality, and has a number of other policies that make it advantageous for trade. The zone offers preferential customs clearances, taxation and foreign exchange, and offers good business opportunities for U.S. companies dependent on shipping either raw materials or finished commodities.

Contact Information

U.S. Commercial Service - Beijing

No. 55 An Jia Lou Road, Chaoyang District

Beijing 100600, China

Tel: (86-10) 8531-3000

Fax: (86-10) 8531-3701

Email: office.beijing@trade.gov

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