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An ancient harbor on the East China Sea, Ningbo was one of the first cities to benefit from China’s economic liberalization. In the two decades since its opening, Ningbo has emerged as China’s fourth largest port and one of the key economic and industrial hubs in the Yangtze River delta. Ningbo is ranked by the World Bank as having the 18th best investment climate for foreign firms in China. US companies have already begun to catch on to the opportunities of exporting to Ningbo; almost 5% of the city’s imports— over USD $1.4 billion worth— originated from the United States. According to the Global Trade Atlas, Ningbo ranked second in China in terms of the highest growth in US imports in 2009 increasing 90% in 2009.

Leading Industries

Ningbo is an important industrial base in Zhejiang Province. The city’s chief industries include textiles, garments, machinery, petrochemicals, iron & steel, power generation and paper-making. According to Dezan Shira, Ningbo is a leading garment manufacturing city, making 12 percent of the country’s total production, equaling about 1.4 billion suits annually. The city’s fortunes are also largely tied to its port, which according to the Economist Intelligence Unit is one of China’s main entry ports for the import of raw materials such as coal, iron ore and petroleum. As a result, shipbuilding and steel are also major industries. The city is home to over 62,500 private enterprises, nine of which have been designated as “top 500 National Best Private Enterprises”.

Development Zones and Ports

o Ningbo Economic and Technological Zone(NETD)

  • One of China’s earliest and largest, established in 1984.
  • American companies present: Esso, Samsonite

o Ningbo Free Trade Zone(NFTZ)

o Ningbo Export Processing Zone(NEPZ)

o Beilun Port

  • Deepwater Port with 40 deepwater berths allowing for inter-continental shipping container ships and oil tankers.

Contact Information

U.S. Commercial Service - Shanghai

Shanghai Center, Suite 631, 1376 Nanjing West Road

Shanghai 200040, China

Tel: (86-21) 6279-7630