Heavy Duty: China's Next Wave of Exports

This EIU white paper looks at how certain trends will shape China’s export sector in the coming decade and assesses the implications for Western businesses.


China’s export sector will cross two important milestones in the coming year. First, developing countries will take over as China’s primary export market. Secondly, domestic Chinese firms will overtake foreign-invested companies as the dominant exporters from China.


Key Findings:

  • As wages in China rise and technology progresses, exporters will move up the value chain and increasingly compete in the core product markets of developed countries.
  • China’s export growth will be driven primarily by demand from non-OECD countries. Penetration of OECD markets in high-end manufactures is likely to be limited, although China will see rapid increases in market share in non-OECD markets.
  • In a related trend, foreign-invested firms in China will relinquish their dominant role in driving China’s export growth. 
  • Within China, the heavy-machinery export boom will support the development of the country’s poorer inland regions, where heavy industry is dominant.  

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