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Tianjin 天津

Regional Economy Outlook Video


Tianjin Eye ferris wheel.

Tianjin is governed as one of the four direct-controlled municipalities in China, reporting directly to the Central Government. Tianjin adjoins Beijing municipality as well as Hebei province. Located only 150 kilometres from Beijing, Tianjin serves as its vital gateway to the Bohai Sea. In recent years, Tianjin experienced important economic development at a faster rate than the national average.

Secretary of the CPC Municipal Committee:Huang Xingguo
Mayor:Huang Xingguo
PopulationFootnote 1:15.2 M
Largest districts:Nankai (1 M)
Binhai New Area (2.4 M)
Area:11,760 km2
Twinning relationships and sister cities in Canada:Tanggu District – Port Moody, British Columbia
Dongli District – Burnaby, British Columbia
Tianjin – Mississauga, Ontario
Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and development zones: SEZs and development zones in Tianjin include:Dongjiang Free Trade Port Zone
Tianjin Airport Industrial Park
Tianjin Binhai New Area
Tianjin Beichen High-tech Industrial Park
Tianjin Dagang Economic Development Zone
Tianjin Dawanggu Economic Development Zone
Tianjin Dongli Economic Development Area
Tianjin Economic Technological Development Area (TEDA)
Tianjin Jinghai Economic Development Area
Tianjin Jixian Economic Development Area
Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone (TPFTZ)
Tianjin Wuqing Development Area
Tianjin Xiqing Economic Development Area

Responsibility for Canadian interests in Tianjin is managed by the Embassy of Canada to China and the opening soon Canadian Trade Office in Tianjin.

Economic Profile

The below exchange rate was from the Bank of Canada’s website: On 20 May 2016, 1.00 Chinese renminbi(s) = 0.20 Canadian Dollar(s), at an exchange rate of 0.2006 (using nominal rate).

IndicatorValueProvincial Rank
Gross Regional Product (GRP)1,572 B CNY ($315 B CAD)17/31
GRP per capita105,231 CNY ($21,109 CAD)1/31
  • Tianjin has a well-established industrial base; its industrial output is dominated by high technology, particularly the electronic information technology sector. Tianjin is one of the largest producers of mobile phones and related components in China.
  • Other major industries include automotive, electronics, petrochemical products, metallurgy, medicine, energy, and financial services.
  • Tianjin has rapidly become an attractive city for consumer products, with total retail sales of consumer goods that grew by 15.6% in 2012.
  • Tianjin has one of the most important and largest offshore oil reservesin China, which serves as a national base for the development of the oil industry.  
  • The Changlu Salt Field, in Hangu District, is one of China’s most important sea salt production base.
  • The Binhai New Area is a major growth pole in Tianjin where more than 285 Fortune Global 500 companies have invested or established branch offices. It is served by the nearby Port of Tianjin, one of the biggest port in China, which offers connections to domestic as well as international destinations. Tianjin International Airport is also a major cargo freight center in China.
  • Tianjin attracts logistic developers for its transportation infrastructure and its low industrial land and operation costs.
  • The Binhai New Area covers the Tianjin Economic Technological Development Area (TEDA), Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone (TPFTZ) and Tianjin Port.
  • Others, Wholesale and Retail Trades, and Financial Intermediation are the three biggest sectors of the Service industry in 2014, composing 18.3%, 12.4% and 9.0% of the GRP respectively.

GRP Composition

Pie Chart showing GRP Composition (Services 50%, Industrial sector 49%, and Natural Resources Exploitation 1%)

Source: 2015 National Bureau of Statistics of China

Canadian Business in Tianjin

More than 30 Canadian entities are doing business in Tianjin, including Chreod, IMAX, Legumex Walker,  Manulife, Mitel and Strewn Estate Winery.

Examples of Canadian business success stories in Tianjin include the following:

Legumex Walker Inc.  (TSX: LWP) is a growth-oriented processor and merchandiser of special crops (sunflower seed, flax and canary seed), pulses (lentils, peas, beans and chickpeas) and canola products. The company is one of the largest processors of special crops and pulses in Canada. Legumex Walker has 16 processing facilities strategically located in key growing regions in the Canadian Prairie Provinces, the American Midwest and China, where the company has also developed efficient distribution platforms and access to multimodal transportation capabilities. Legumex Walker’s sales offices in China are located in Beijing and Hong Kong, and the company also has two cleaning facilities in Tianjin and Dalian.

Trade and Investment

Bilateral trade: $3,912.8 M Footnote 2


Tianjin exports to the world:$127,021.6 M
Tianjin exports to Canada:$1,868.1 M

Tianjin's top exports to Canada

Articles of iron and steel:$318.7 M
Electrical Machinery And Equipment And Parts Thereof; Sound Recorders And Reproducers, Television Recorders And Reproducers, Parts And Accessories:$172.9 M
Base Metals Nesoi; Cermets; Articles Thereof:$172.8 M
Nuclear Reactors, Boilers, Machinery And Mechanical Appliances; Parts Thereof:$162.0 M
Furniture; Bedding, Cushions Etc.; Lamps And Lighting Fittings Nesoi; Illuminated Signs, Nameplates And The Like; Prefabricated Buildings:$93.3 M
Articles Of Apparel And Clothing Accessories, Not Knitted Or Crocheted:$78.7 M
Rubber And Articles Thereof:$68.2 M

Tianjin's top exports to the world

Electrical Machinery And Equipment And Parts Thereof; Sound Recorders And Reproducers, Television Recorders And Reproducers, Parts And Accessories:$20,745.4 M
Nuclear Reactors, Boilers, Machinery And Mechanical Appliances; Parts Thereof:$17,435.8 M
Iron and steel:$16,840.4 M
Articles of iron and steel:$10,682.2 M
Vehicles, Other Than Railway Or Tramway Rolling Stock, And Parts And Accessories Thereof:$7,885.0 M
Organic Cemicals:$4,013.5 M
Optical, Photographic, Cinematographic, Measuring, Checking, Precision, Medical Or Surgical Instruments And Apparatus; Parts And Accessories Thereof:$3,687.6 M


Tianjin imports from the world:$112,336.9 M
Tianjin imports from Canada:$2,044.7 M

Tianjin's top imports from Canada

Aircraft, Spacecraft, And Parts Thereof:$384.4 M
Oil Seeds And Oleaginous Fruits; Miscellaneous Grains, Seeds And Fruits; Industrial Or Medicinal Plants; Straw And Fodder:$286.5 M
Vehicles, Other Than Railway Or Tramway Rolling Stock, And Parts And Accessories Thereof:$269.7 M
Pulp Of Wood Or Other Fibrous Cellulosic Material; Recovered (Waste And Scrap) Paper And Paperboard:$193.3 M
Wood And Articles Of Wood; Wood Charcoal:$182.4 M
Meat And Edible Meat Offal:$173.1 M
Nuclear Reactors, Boilers, Machinery And Mechanical Appliances; Parts Thereof:$105.1 M

Tianjin's top imports from the world

Vehicles, Other Than Railway Or Tramway Rolling Stock, And Parts And Accessories Thereof:$19,620.0 M
Nuclear Reactors, Boilers, Machinery And Mechanical Appliances; Parts Thereof:$13,165.4 M
Electrical Machinery And Equipment And Parts Thereof; Sound Recorders And Reproducers, Television Recorders And Reproducers, Parts And Accessories:$12,965.5 M
Mineral Fuels, Mineral Oils And Products Of Their Distillation; Bituminous Substances; Mineral Waxes:$10,781.6 M
Aircraft, Spacecraft, And Parts Thereof:$9,575.4 M
Ores, Slag And Ash:$6,963.6 M
Oil Seeds And Oleaginous Fruits; Miscellaneous Grains, Seeds And Fruits; Industrial Or Medicinal Plants; Straw And Fodder:$4,902.7 M

Foreign Investment Opportunities in Tianjin

The State Council Information Office and the China International Publishing Group in Beijing highlighted the following industries as being the most encouraged for foreign investment in Tianjin:

  1. Municipal infrastructure construction projects involving communication, energy and environmental protection
  2. Industrial pollution-free products involving high-technologies, with low energy consumption, high profit and added value
  3. Agricultural plant breeding
  4. Development of marine oil and petrochemical industry
  5. Real estate projects
  6. Agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery
    1. Production, processing and export of agricultural and sideline products
    2. Production of fresh and dried fruit
    3. Development of pollution-free green food
    4. Fresh preservation technologies for vegetables, fruits, meat and flowers
    5. Breeding and processing of aquatic products
  7. Industrial sector
    1. Automobile industry
    2. Electronics industry
    3. Machinery and electric equipment industry
    4. Marine oil and petrochemical industry
    5. Light industry
    6. Food industry
    7. Medical equipment industry
  8. Urban infrastructures
    1. Treatment of wastewater and other wastes
    2. Construction and operation of railway stations, expressways and subway
  9. Tertiary industry
    1. Tourism
    2. Construction of commercial facilities
    3. Renovation and reconstruction of old buildings and development of residential houses
    4. Development of scenic spots and tourist facilities
    5. Economic, scientific and technological information consultancy services

Foreign direct investment in Tianjin Municipality has increased between 2005 to 2012 at a pace above 10% per anunum, one of the fastest growth rates among Chinese cities. A large portion of this investment is due to the city’s focus on equipment manufacturing, automobiles  and petrochemicals, as well as real estate developmentFootnote 3.


There are many educational linkages between Canadian universities and Tianjin educational institutes, including multiple exchange partnerships.

  • A Canadian Studies Centre was established at Nankai University in 1989.
  • A number of students and professors from Nankai University, Tianjin Normal University and Tianjin Foreign Studies University have participated in the Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program.
  • In 2009, a Maple Leaf school was opened in Tianjin.
  • Université Laval has forged partnerships with 21 Chinese universities, including Nankai University.
  • Yi-Cheng Zhao (1908–1974), the "founder of neurosurgery in China,” was trained by McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI).  To this day, the MNI is still a sister institute of the Tianjin Neurological Institute with ongoing partnerships, projects and exchanges.
  • École nationale d'aérotechnique (ÉNA), a national aeronautical institute, has partnered with Tianjin TEDA Polytechnic (local vocational school) to provide an aeronautics technical training program in avionics to Chinese students. As part of their program, some of the students received training in Canada leading to an institutional diploma.
  • According to the Canadian Information Centre for International Credential (CICIC), there are two Canadian certified offshore elementary and secondary school program in Tianjin.

For more information, please visit Canada’s International Education Strategy in China’s website.

Recent High-level Visits 

Recent visits

  • Minister of State for Seniors Alice Wong (April 2013)
  • Minister of International Trade Ed Fast (April 2013)


Footnote 1

Taken from 2010 Population Census of the People's Republic of China.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Tianjin's trade data is based on 2013 statistics from the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC). Please note that GACC's statistics are calculated by port of entry and exit, and as such may not represent the exact internal provincial consumption.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

Based on Jones Lang LaSalle's Tianjin City Profile, China's City Winners, Global Foresight Series 2013.

Return to footnote 3 referrer

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