Jilin is renowned for its rich natural resources including land, forest, minerals, grassland, wild plants and water reserves — all contributing to the success of the province’s economic development.
Located in the Northeast Plain (also known as the Songliao Plain) of China, there are 83.68 million hectares of arable land in Jilin. It is also one of the three famous black land belts in the world.
Jilin is an important forestry base in China, with live timber amounting to 0.84 billion cubic meters, ranking sixth in the country. The Changbai Mountains area is one of China's six major forestry areas.
The province has a plentiful supply of minerals, with a total of 137 varieties and 96 surveyed mineral deposits. Potential reserve of petroleum amounts to 17.4 billion tonnes, accounting for 54% of the nation’s total and ranking first. The reserves of wollastonite also rank first in the country, and the province is rich in mineral water.
Jilin Province has a vast area of quality grassland, making it one of the eight largest animal husbandry bases in the country.
The flora of Jilin Province includes 5,284 kinds of wild plants, 200 plants for industrial use and 1,452 kinds of plants for medical use. Jilin also produces the famous three Northeast China treasures: ginseng, marten fur and deer velvet.
Jilin is rich in water resources, with 2,000 rivers of various sizes adding up to a water reserve of 40.4 billion cubic metres.
Jilin’s economic development has grown in leaps and bounds thanks to its efficient and sophisticated transportation network, including rail, road, air and sea.
The system, with Changchun as the focal point, is supported by railways to Dalian, Harbin, Tumen and Changbai, connecting to different areas in the country efficiently and conveniently.
Jilin’s road system also centres on Changchun, and is connected by highway with other major cities including Jilin City, Harbin, Shenyang, Dalian and Beijing.
Changchun Longjia International Airport is the major airport in the province, with flights connecting to various domestic cities as well as international destinations such as Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. Changbaishan airport focuses on domestic routes.
Jilin has a river mileage of 1,609 kilometres and five major river ports with a throughput capacity of 1.8 million tonnes. Among the five ports, Daan is a category-one national port.
High-quality human resources
Jilin is determined to improve and upgrade its technological and educational development in order to cope with its rapid economic advancement.
Jilin is at the forefront of technology development with 107 technology research institutions, including the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics, the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, and the Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology. There are 21 academicians from the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Chinese Academy of Science dedicated to scientific research. Jilin is also home to 11 national key laboratories, and two laboratories jointly funded by the province and the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Jilin was among the earliest provinces to develop a modern education system, and now sees Jilin University and a multitude of primary, secondary and tertiary educational. All these institutions are highly efficient.
Jilin University is the country’s largest university and a national key comprehensive university. It has 39 first-level doctoral degree programs, 240 doctoral degree programs, 37 post-doctoral programs and 311 master’s degree programs.
Situated at the eastern part of the province, the picturesque Changbaishan Nature Reserve Region incorporates a heavenly lake and a sea of forests that inspired the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping to exclaim, “One will be sorry for his whole life if he never visits Changbaishan.” Hard rime in Jilin, together with hills and marine scenery in Guilin, stone forests in Yunnan, and the three gorges along the Yangtze River are known as the four natural wonders of China. Changchun’s Jingyuetan, at the middle of the province, is a national forestry park and the largest man-made forestry park in Asia. The Xianghai National Reserve on the western area has been evaluated grade A by the WWF and is registered in the List of Wetlands of International Importance.
The ancient Korean civilisation at Ji’an is part of the Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom, a world heritage site known around the world. The Tomb of the General within the site is said to be “the pyramid of the East”. The Gwanggaeto Stele, also in Ji’an, is a stunning example of ancient monumental inscription. And while the ancient town of Yehe in the city of Siping showcases Manchurian culture, the palace that once housed Puyi, the figure head of the puppet state Manchukuo at Changchun, serves as a more sobering reminder of the past and as an education venue.
Jilin’s economy is able to maintain stable yet rapid development underpinned by strong trade growth in 2012 compared with the previous year. These included GDP of US$194.57bn, up 12 per cent; annual value-added production by above-scale enterprises reaching US$89.28bn, up 14.1 per cent; total revenue by private enterprises at US$375.13bn, up 22 per cent; total consumer goods retail of US$77.8bn, up 16 per cent; average growth rate ranked first in the country; fixed asset investment value at US$158.3bn, up 30.5 per cent; and accumulated foreign trade import and export value of US$24.57bn, up 11.4 per cent.
Jilin’s industrial development is strongly backed by a number of pillar industries, including automobile, petrochemicals, processed agricultural products, medicine, electronics communications, agriculture and animal husbandry, equipment manufacturing, building materials, services, culture and other new strategic sectors.
Led by whole-car manufacturing enterprise First Automotive Group Corporation, Jilin’s automobile industry forms a comprehensive production system.
The industry produced a total of 1.97 million cars in 2012, an increase of 12.8 per cent compared with the previous year, and gained an annual value-added production of US$20.28bn, up 16 per cent.
This pillar industry produces petroleum, natural gas and many others petrochemical products. Production of ABS, acrylonitrile, PE and 23 other products possess a competitive edge among other producing cities in the country.
Processed agricultural products
Jilin has three major food producing areas: the central part mainly engages in the food and livestock and poultry processing industry; the west is famous for the production of dairy and green products; while the Changbai Mountains area in the east is renowned for the processing of natural food.
The production bases of China’s northern herbal pharmacy and the nation’s bio industry, as well as China’s demonstration base for the new model of industrialisation — Tonghua Medicine City — are all located in Jilin.
Jilin is the homeland of China’s optic industry, enjoying the prestigious title of “base of optic industry”. Currently, the province houses the country’s largest optical encoder manufacturing enterprise and the largest optoelectronic processing enterprise.
Agriculture and animal husbandry
Jilin is an important agricultural and husbandry province in China, offering 5.54 million hectares of arable land. The grassland in the west possesses abundant natural resources beneficial for the development of husbandry, grain growing and the aquatic food industry.
The manufacture of equipment is one of Jilin’s traditional industries, with the province’s mass-production capacity at more than 2,000 kinds of railed passenger cars and agricultural equipment. The industry, as Jilin’s fourth major sector after automobiles, food and petrochemicals, achieved a total production value of US$8.18bn in 2012, up 13.8 per cent over the previous year.
Thanks to its naturally endowed advantages, Jilin boasts a burgeoning metal construction materials industry. The Yanbian autonomous prefecture, Baishan city and Huadian city are rich in metallic ore resources. Value-added production of metal construction materials amounted to US$12.14bn in 2012.
In Jilin, trade services have expanded and extended their scopes to develop in the sectors of chain operations, logistics and e-commerce in recent years.
New strategic sectors
Equipped with key technologies, Jilin’s manufacturing techniques for small satellites and special techniques for the manufacture of special-function materials are ahead of international standards, while the province’s improved wet milling process for the manufacture of fuel ethanol is a world-first invention.
Jilin’s cultural industry targets reform based on reformation and integration, creating a sector with Jilin’s unique characteristics. The China Jilin Northeast Asia Investment and Trade Expo, drawing participation from six countries in the northeast Asia region, is an important international trading cooperation platform for the area.
Jilin is proactive in implementing the country’s pioneer strategic development plan and is determined to further enhance and develop the northeast region’s traditional industries.
Presently, the province has established trade relationship with some 173 overseas countries and regions, including Germany, Hungary, Japan, the Slovak Republic and the US.
Since the establishment of its first development zone in May 1988, Jilin has seen an unprecedented upsurge in industrial development. Currently, there are 109 development zones for various sectors in the province. Among these, eight belong to national-level establishments, 60 are classified at provincial levels and 41 are located in the concentrated industrial, generating a total production value of US$107.82bn.