Export, Innovate, Invest - The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

Focus on Wuhan, China

Table of Contents


Situated in the middle of Hubei Province, Wuhan is the most populous city in central China. It has a population of 9.7 million residing in three distinct districts (Hankou, Hanyang, and Wuchang), commonly known as “The Three Towns of Wuhan”. The city is recognized as the political, economic, financial, cultural, educational, and transportation centre of central China.

While Wuhan has for decades been a traditional base for manufacturing, it has also become one of the areas promoting modern industrial change. Wuhan consists of three national development zones, four scientific and technologic development parks, over 350 research institutes, 1,470 hi-tech enterprises and numerous enterprise incubators – enabling the city to offer globally competitive strengths in most business fields. By combining traditional industries such as automobile manufacturing, the starting point of China's economic liberalization, with new hi-tech industries in places like the Optics Valley, Wuhan is positioning itself as one of the most progressive business cities in all of Asia.

Business Environment

Wuhan possesses strong economic and regional advantages. It connects the east with the west, channels the north to the south, and links rivers with seas by means of its developed infrastructure in water, land and air traffic.

Important metropolises in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Xi’an, are all within a 1,000 km radius of Wuhan, home to the largest inland port in the country and the gateway to the Three Gorges Project – the development of a hydroelectric dam in the Yangtze River. Benefitting from its strategic position in central China, Wuhan naturally became a hub for the efficient distribution of products for many industries.

Major industries in Wuhan include modern manufacturing (automotive, steel and iron manufacturing) and high-tech industries (including opto-electronic technology, pharmaceutical, biology engineering, new material industry, and environmental protection). Wuhan’s Dongfeng Motor Corporation is the third largest automaker in China. It has joint ventures with firms such as Honda, Nissan and French carmaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen. In 2008, Dongfeng sold more than 1.3 million vehicles. In addition to a strong industrial base, Wuhan is also ranked third in China for its comprehensive scientific and educational strength.

Overall, Wuhan is enjoying substantial growth: among 19 sub-provincial cities in China, Wuhan’s GDP ranked 11th and its growth rate ranked 6th. As of 2008, Wuhan’s GDP reached RMB 396 billion, an increase of 15% over the previous year. GDP per capita reached approximately RMB 44,000 (USD $6,285). It is a city with great potential.

Special industrial zones

  • Wuhan East Lake High-Tech Development Zone
  • Wuhan China Optics Valley
  • Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone
  • Wuhan Wujiashan Technology Development Zone (focusing on food and bioengineering industries)
  • Wuhan is also the site of China’s first environmental industrial park, focusing on desulfuration technology and equipment

Market Access

Canada has a number of bilateral trade and investment policy instruments in place that are helping to facilitate and support Canadian commercial engagement in the region including:

  • 2005 Air Services Agreement
  • 2007 Canada-China Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation
  • Future Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA)

The Government of Canada's Market Plan for China is available on the Virtual Trade Commissioner website.

Major Stakeholders

Notable domestic enterprises

  • Dongfeng Motor Corporation
  • Wuhan Department Store, Zhongshang Company, Hanyang Department Store, and Central Department Store are Wuhan’s four major commercial enterprises.
  • Hanzhengjie Small Commodities Market, which is the largest wholesale distribution centre in central China
  • Wuhan Iron and Steel Group is the third largest iron and steel consortium in China in terms of production, with an annual production capacity of 10 million tonnes of iron and 10 million tonnes of steel.

Foreign enterprises/investors

  • Wuhan has attracted more than 50 French companies – including large companies such as PSA, Faurecia, Hutchinson, Valeo, Alcatel, Alstom, Total, Carrefour, Air France, SDV, and Groupe Accor – representing over one third of total French investment in China, the highest among Chinese cities.
  • Famous commercial giants such as Walmart, METRO, and Carrefour have all set up branches in Wuhan.

The Canadian Advantage

Commercial opportunities

  • Automotive sector
  • Railway and urban transit sector
  • Agricultural commodities and technologies: Canola, dairy breeds, swine genetics, etc..
  • Environmental protection: waste water treatment, air pollution control, pollution monitoring

Canadian companies active in region

  • The Woodbridge Group
  • Wescast Industries Inc.
  • Magna Steyr R&D Centre

For More Information

Wuhan will be the site of one of Canada’s newest trade offices[1] abroad, slated to open in 2009. The office is an indication of the increasing attention Canada is paying to China and will further support Canadian interests in the region.

Fast Facts

Area: 8,494.41 km²
Population: 9.7 million (2007)
Urban Density: 4,277.5 km²
Language(s): Mandarin, Wuhan dialect.

Major Industries: Manufacturing, opto-electronic technologies, automotives, steel, pharmaceuticals, bio-technologies, new materials, environmental protection, agriculture.
Main Export Destination: U.S., South Korea, Netherlands, India, Germany, Japan, U.K., Singapore, Brazil.
Main Import Sources: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, U.S., Germany, Australia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil.
Major Exports: Machinery, electrical machinery, iron and steel, organic chemicals, woven apparel, preserved foods, vehicles, automotives.
Major Imports: Ores/Slag/Ash, machinery, electrical machinery, automotives, optic and medical instruments, iron and steel, glass and glassware, plastic, aircrafts/spacecrafts.
Foreign Investment: [Outward] USD 34.12 billion (2008)

Mr. Ruan Chengfa
CPC Secretariat: Mr. Yang Song

13 divisions
Township-levels: 153 Levels

Canadian Trade Commissioner Service Coordinates

Canadian Trade Office in Wuhan
New World International Trade Tower Room 1609A, Building 1, No. 568, Jianshe Avenue, Jianghan District
Wuhan, 430022, China
Tel.: (011-86-10) 5139-4000
Fax: (011-86-10) 5139-4450
Email: infocentrechina@international.gc.ca

19 Dongzhimenwai Dajie,
Chao Yang District
Beijing 100600, People’s Republic of China
Tel.: (011-86-10) 5139-4000
Fax: (011-86-10) 5139-4450
Email: infocentrechina@international.gc.ca

Room 1705, Metropolitan Tower
Wu Yi Lu, Yu Zhong District
Chongqing 400010, People’s Republic of China
Tel.: (011-86-23) 6373-8007
Fax: (011-86-23) 6373-8026
Email: infocentrechina@international.gc.ca

China Hotel Office Tower, Suite 801
Liu Hua Lu, Guangzhou
Guangdong 510015, People’s Republic of China
Tel.: (011-86-20) 8666-0569
Fax: (011-86-20) 8668-6093
Email: infocentrechina@international.gc.ca

Hong Kong
14th Floor, One Exchange Square
Central, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China
P.O. Box 11142 Central
Hong Kong SAR, China
Tel.: (011-85-2) 2847-7414
Fax: (011-85-2) 2847-7441
Email: infocentrechina@international.gc.ca

American International Centre
West Tower, Suite 604,
1376 Nanjing Xi Lu
Shanghai 200040, People’s Republic of China
Tel.: (011-86-21) 6279-8400
Fax: (011-86-21) 6279-7456
Email: infocentrechina@international.gc.ca


[1] The Canadian trade office in Wuhan enhances the coverage provided by the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai, which continues to include Wuhan in its territory of responsibility.

The Government of Canada has prepared this report based on primary and secondary sources of information. Readers should take note that the Government of Canada does not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information contained in this report, nor does it necessarily endorse the organizations listed herein. Readers should independently verify the accuracy and reliability of the information.