Harbin is located in Northeast China, along with several other major cities including Changchun, Dalian and Shenyang. While Dalian is considered the region's shipping center and Shenyang its financial hub, Harbin is striving hard towards becoming the key trade and shopping center of the region. The city is located in one of the fastest growing regions in the world and can boast a number of advantages such as an abundance of natural resources, good transport system and plenty of human resources.
In 2010, Harbin's GDP reached RMB366.59 billion, an increase of 14.0 percent over the previous year. Harbin is the largest economy in Heilongjiang province. Tertiary industry output remained the largest component of GDP reaching RMB186.86 billion, an increase of 13.5 percent from the previous year. The total value for imports and exports by the end of 2010 was US$4.4 billion.
The soil in Harbin, called “black earth” is one of the most nutrient rich in all of China, making it valuable for cultivating food and textile-related crops. As a result, Harbin is China’s base for the production of commodity grain and an ideal location for setting up agricultural businesses. Harbin also has industries such as light industry, textile, medicine, foodstuff, automobile, metallurgy, electronics, building materials, and chemicals which help to form a fairly comprehensive industrial system. Harbin Power Equipment Group Company and Northeast Light Alloy Processing Factory are two key enterprises. Harbin is also known as the capital of power manufacturing; hydro and thermal power equipment manufactured here makes up one-third of the total installed capacity in China.
Foreign investors seem upbeat about the city. The Harbin Trade and Economic fair, has been held for 17 years annually, cumulatively attracting more than 1.3 million exhibitors and visitors and resulting in contracts of over US$90 billion. Japanese, Russian and Eastern European nations are