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Share of imports in gross domestic product (GDP) in China 2009-2019

China's share of imports in gross domestic product (GDP) dropped to 14.45 percent in 2019. The total gross domestic product amounted to approximately 99.1 trillion yuan that year.

Import development in China

Trade is essential to modern economies. The imports-to-GDP ratio measures a country’s openness to inward trade. One similar indicator is the trade-to-GDP-ratio, which is the sum of exports and imports divided by GDP. It is used to measure a country’s integration in the world economy.

As of 2018, China was the third largest merchandise importing nation worldwide, representing 13.6 percent of all global imports of goods. China’s imports of goods had doubled over the last decade. In 2009, the import value stood at a little over seven trillion yuan (around one trillion U.S. dollars), whereas in 2019, China brought forth approximately 14.32 trillion yuan worth of imported commodities, its main import goods being integrated circuits, crude oil, and iron ore. Meanwhile, the monetary value of services imported to China, although much lower than merchandise imports, also soared from around 1.1 trillion yuan (158 billion U.S. dollars) in 2009 to 3.46 trillion yuan in 2019.

Where does China import from?

In 2019, ASEAN was the leading import partner for China, with imports amounting to approximately 1.95 trillion yuan (around 279 billion U.S. dollars). European Union was the second largest import source providing 1.91 trillion yuan worth of goods to China. In 2019, imports from ASEAN and EU countries increased by 9.8 and 5.5 percent respectively. A year earlier, the European Union imported around 395 billion euros worth of merchandise from China, resulting in a trade deficit of roughly 185 billion euros. Trade deficits were most significant in sectors such as machinery, transport equipment and apparel manufacturing.

Share of imports in China's gross domestic product (GDP) from 2009 to 2019

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period

2009 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Figures from 2010 to 2019 have been calculated based on import and GDP data published by the National Bureau of Statistics of China. Figure for 2009 has been calculated from IMF and OECD data.

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Statistics on "Imports to China"

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