Economy and Commerce

The Consulate General of Switzerland in Chengdu is dedicated to promoting the bilateral economic and trade exchanges and cooperation between Switzerland and the southwest Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan and Guizhou. The Consulate General also organizes and assists Swiss companies to participate in economic and trade-related events in the region.

An Economic Overview of Southwest China

Southwest China’s large population of 200 million and abundant tourism, minerals, and hydropower resources give important backing to the regional economic prosperity. A number of large-scale transportation and logistics – e.g. the already existing direct railway link to Europe and a new international airport scheduled to be opened in 2021 -- will further accelerate the region’s opening-up and will expand its participation in the international economic arena.

Southwest China in recent years has seen the elevation of the region’s economic significance, with the respective GDP growth rates of the four provinces / municipality outstripping the national figures. Besides the common goal of smart and sustainable development, each province has its own economic characteristics.

Sichuan’s leading industries are electronics and information, equipment manufacturing, food and beverage, advanced materials, as well as energy and chemicals. Chengdu has become an important modern manufacturing base that plays a leading position in ICT, aviation and aerospace, automobile, pharmaceuticals, and innovation.

Chongqing is a base for heavy industry and is a shipping hub in the upper reaches of Yangtze River. Automobile, electronics and equipment manufacturing are the main economic engines of Chongqing while it currently drives the industrial upgrade and transformation to develop new strategic initiatives including smart manufacturing and modern logistics.

Yunnan has a fast-growing foreign trade. Its five major industries are tobacco, tourism, minerals, electricity, and agriculture. In recent years, Yunnan has put a focus on the development of pharmaceutical and health industry, plateau characteristic agriculture, and clean energy. Fast-tracking the construction of transportation corridors with neighbouring countries, Yunnan also aims to develop itself into an economic centre with radiating effects on South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Guizhou’s most important industrial sectors are Chinese liquor (or baijiu, a Chinese distilled spirit), coal, non-metallic mineral products, electric-power, and tobacco. In recent years, a number of highways and high-speed railways were constructed, vastly improving the transportation system of the previously mountain-locked province. Furthermore, thanks to an agreeable natural environment and supportive policies, Guizhou has become a pioneer in China’s big data industry hosting data centres for tech enterprises including Apple, Alibaba, Tencent, and Huawei.

The Consulate General of Switzerland in Chengdu supports all Swiss companies interested to expand their businesses to the Southwest of China. For further information, please write to the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chengdu or visit the webpage of the Swiss Business Hub in China.