The Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry
of New South Wales



Hubei Province is shown in black.

Note that Chinese names are in MingLiU (Chinese Traditional) screen font.  This may appear as question marks or other symbols if that font is not installed on your browser.


General Profile:

Population: 59,380,000.

Provincial Capital: Wuhan.  A straight line connecting Hong Kong with Beijing and another line connecting Shanghai with Chongqing would intersect close to Wuhan.  It is consequently an important transport and communications hub.

Physical features: The province has an area of 185,900 square kilometres.  The land area is high in the west and low in the east, with mountains and hills except in the south.  It has a subtropical in climate, with frequent droughts and floods.

Rivers and lakes: The Yangtze River and its tributary, the Hanshui River.  About 10 per cent of the province consists of lakes, giving Hubei the name “province of a thousand lakes”.  The name “hubei” means north of the lake, which in this case is Dongting Lake (洞庭湖).

Average temperatures: 1 deg C to 6 deg C in January; 24 deg C to 30 deg C in July.

Administrative divisions: 25 cities, 1 autonomous prefecture, 51 counties and 2 autonomous counties and 1 forest district.

Historical significance:  Hubei was the centre of the Chu Kingdom during the Warring States period (475-221 BC), which is sometimes referred to as the “golden age” of China.  Confucius lived in the immediately preceding period (551-479 BC).


Natural Resources:

Hubei is rich in mineral resources with 111 minerals found in the province, accounting for 74 per cent of all the 150 minerals already found in the country.  More than 66 mineral reserves have been prospected accounting for 48 per cent of China’s 137 prospected mineral reserves.

The province leads the country in deposits of phosphate, salt, iron, copper and gypsum.  Silica, garnet and marlstone exist in large amounts, and Hubei also has rich deposits of minerals and metals such as rutile, iron and copper.

The province has a substantial hydropower potential with an estimated capacity of 33.1 million kWh, for which the province ranks 4th in the country.  Apart from the Gezhouba(葛洲壩)and Danjiangkou(丹江口)Hydroelectric Power Stations which have a combined capacity of 3.6 million kWh, the Three Gorges(三門峽)Hydroelectric Station is also under construction


Economic Profile:












(% p.a.)


(% p.a.)

Gross domestic product (RMB bn)


4.1 *


9.3 *

Per capita GDP (RMB)





Disposable income per capita





  - urban (RMB)





  - rural (RMB)





Fixed asset investment (RMB bn)





Value added by sector





  - primary (RMB bn)





  - secondary (RMB bn)





  - tertiary (RMB bn)





Retail sales (RMB bn)





Inflation (CPI, %)





Exports (US$ bn)





  - by FIEs (US$ bn)





Imports (US$ bn)





  - by FIEs (US$ bn)





Foreign direct investment





  - number of projects





  - contracted amount (US$ bn)





  - utilised amount (US$ bn)





Notes: * In real terms
Sources: Hubei Statistical Yearbook and State Statistical Bureau




Water Transport
Wuhan and Huangshi are the major ports on the Yangtze River and are able to handle vessels up to 3,000-5,000 tons capacity.  Frequent feeder service is also available between Wuhan and ports along the Yangtze River to Shanghai and Chongqing.

Railways Major railways in Hubei include the Beijing-Guangzhou(北京-廣州)line, Beijing-Kowloon(北京-九龍), Shanghai-Wuhan(上海-武漢), Wuhan-Chengdu(武漢-成都)and Jiaozuo-Zhicheng(焦作-枝城)lines, connecting the province to all directions in the country.  A new railway line running along the Yangtze River is expected to be completed within the next 5 years.  This railway will cross various provinces and municipalities including Sichuan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Chongqing and Shanghai.

Highways There are 8 inter-provinces highways and 118 intra-province highways covering all cities, counties and most villages and towns in the province.  A new expressway to the Xihaigu area of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region will be built within 5 years.  This road will form an integral part of the expressway between the city of Yinchuan and Wuhan.  The Yinchuan-Wuhan expressway will be 390 kilometres long.

Air Transport There are 7 airports in Hubei including the Wuhan, Yichang, Sanxia, Xiangfan and Shashi airports.  The largest one, Wuhan Tianhe(天河)Airport has an average of 230 flights each week with a total passenger handling capacity of 4.2 million. Regular flight between Hong Kong and Wuhan is also available.

Telecommunications Telecommunications services have made remarkable progress in Hubei.  Currently, there are over 1 million subscribers for mobile phone services and mobile phone users in Wuhan account for over half of the province's total.

Gas Supply Construction of a new gas pipeline will be started by end-2000. The gas pipeline will link the provinces of Sichuan and Hubei.  Main part of the pipeline starts at Zhongxian County in Chongqing and ends in Wuhan.  The whole project is expected to complete by early 2003.



The fertile Jianghan Plain
(江漢平原)in Hubei is one of the major agriculture and aquaculture bases in China for producing grain, cotton, oil-bearing crops, fish and vegetables.

The output of high quality rice in the province comprises about 39 percent of total production and rapeseed acreage in Hubei is about 58 percent of the national total.

In 2000, grain production in the province was relatively stable.  Steady progress was made in animal husbandry and fishery industry, while forestry production maintained steady growth.

The total afforested area in 2000 was 196,930 hectares.  Farmland irrigation and water conservation facilities were reinforced.  A comprehensive land recovery program was applied to 1,950 square kilometres of land, while 334,670 hectares of land were converted into farmland with effective irrigation systems and another 48,430 hectares of land were equipped with water-saving systems.



In 1999, Hubei's industrial output totalled RMB 283 billion and ranked the ninth in China.  In 2000, the value added from light industry and heavy industry reached 40.29 billion yuan and 63.533 billion yuan, respectively.  The state-owned construction enterprises achieved 8.28 billion yuan in value added, completing construction of 12.96 million metres of floor space.

The province has developed into an important industrial production base with its major industries including metallurgy, machine building, textiles, electronics, foodstuffs, motor vehicles, shipbuilding, chemicals and construction materials.

Hubei is an important centre for the iron and steel industry in China.  It has formed a relatively comprehensive industrial system which include geological prospecting, designing, construction, mining, separation, smelting, rolling.  The Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Corp. is one of the famous steel giants in China.

Hubei is also one of the major motor vehicle production centres in China.  It produced 224,000 vehicles in 1999 and ranked the third in China, after Jilin and Shanghai.  The Dongfeng Automobile Co. Ltd. and Aeolux Automotive Co. are significant in this industry.  It is predicted that by the year of 2010, the province will be able to produce over 900,000 vehicles a year.

Textile industry has developed into a pillar industry with comprehensive range of products including cotton textile, wool textile, linen textile, knitting, silk textile, printing and dyeing, chemical fibre, fabric material processing. 

Priorities for industrial development in the province include:

Ø       energy, telecommunications and raw materials production

Ø       more rapid growth for motor vehicles, machinery industries and agriculture, and

Ø       further improving the tertiary industry.

Well-known enterprises in the province include the following:

Changjiang Dynamic Power Group Company
Daye Non-ferrous Metal Company
Daye Steel Group Company
Dongfeng Automobile Group Company
Dongfeng Tire Group Company
Echeng Steel Group Company
Gezhouba Hydraulic & Irrigative Engineering Group Company, China
Heart Knight Group Company
Huangshi Dongbei Company of Refrigerator Compression Engine
Huaxin Cement Company, Ltd.
Hubei Automobile Group Company
Hubei Chemical Fiber Company, Ltd.
Hubei Dongguang Group Company, Ltd.
Hubei Duojia Stock Group Company Ltd.
Hubei Huangshi Aluminum-coated Sheet Company
Hubei Jintian Industrial, Agricultural & Trade Company
Hubei Meierya Group Company

Hubei Sanhuan Group Company
Hubei Shuanghan Group Company
Hubei Xiantao Stock Group Company, Ltd.

Hubei Zhongtian Group
Jianghan Bureau of Petroleum Management
Jinmen General Petroleum Chemical Engineering Factory of China Petroleum Company

Qingjiang Hydraulic Power Development Company
Sanjian Aviation Industry Group Company
Shalongda Group Company

Wuhan Continental Telecommunication Power Supply Company
Wuhan Petroleum Chemical Engineering Factory
Wuhan Shenglong Automobile Parts Company

Wuhan Steel & Iron Company


Science and Technology:

Hubei has strong scientific and technological capability with 2,071 scientific research institutions including 8 key laboratories at the state level and 46 research institutions under the jurisdiction of different state ministries and commissions.

The province has 88,895 research workers and ranks fifth in China in terms of research personnel.  This includes 15 employed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the province and 10 employed by the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

The research level and productive capability in the new high-tech fields such as laser, optical fibre communication, bioengineering and new materials are among the best in China.


Consumers’ Market:

In 1999, retail sales of consumer goods in Hubei rose by 9.2 per cent to RMB 161.7 billion and ranked the seventh among all provinces and autonomous regions in China.  Major consumer markets are located in Wuhan and Jingzhou.

Major local retail enterprises in Wuhan include Wuhan Department Store, Wuhan Zhongnan Commercial Group, Wuhan Hanshang Group, Wuhan Zhongxing Department Store, Hubei Huishang Group and Hubei Jinshang Group.


Key Cities in Hubei:

Eastern Industrial Region – This is comprised of the cities along the Yangtze River and includes:

Ø       Wuhan

Ø       Huangshi, and

Ø       Erzhou

Leading industries include metallurgical, engineering, textile, chemical and building matrials.

Western Industrial Region – These cities extend from Wuhan to the border with Sichuan Province and include:

Ø       Yichang

Ø       Jingzhou and

Ø       Jingmen

Leading industries include electric power, oil, chemical and light industries.

Northern Industrial Base – This includes:

Ø       Xiangfan and

Ø       Shiyan

Leading industries include motor vehicles, electronic and light industries.

The cities are listed below according to their ranking by industrial output.



1999 data:



Industrial Output

Retail Sales


(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

7,402 (+1.1%)

108.6 (+6.9%)

65.9 (-6.4%)

53.3 (+8.3%)

In 1950 the cities of Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang were combined into one administrative unit, and given the abbreviated name Wuhan. 

Hankou, the commercial centre and largest of the three, occupies the northwest quadrant, lying west of the Yangtze and north of the Han Jiang.

Hanyang, a manufacturing and residential section, lies west of the Yangtze and south of the Han Jiang.

Wuchang, the administrative and educational centre as well as the provincial capital of Hubei, is situated on the eastern bank of the Yangtze.

The original identity of the three cities is preserved, but they now function under a single municipal government, making Wuhan a major industrial centre of eastern China and one of the largest cities in the country.

Wuhan is the site of an integrated iron and steel complex, which is one of the largest of its type in China and supports heavy machinery manufacturing as well as railway equipment and motor vehicles. 

Wuhan is the major city in Hubei to attract foreign investment.  By end of May 1999, the city approved 4,649 foreign-invested projects, and actually utilised foreign capital amounted to US$6.1 billion.

Hong Kong is the major investor with more than 2,000 enterprises in Wuhan.  France is another major investor in the city.  Currently, French investment in Wuhan totalled US$1.5 billion, accounting for 13% of the city's total overseas investments.  French investment in Wuhan mainly engaged in automobile industry.  Famous enterprises include PSA Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Carrefour, Societe Generale and the Total-Elf Group.



1999 data:



Industrial Output

Retail Sales


(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

5,773 (+1.0%)

39.2 (-20.2%)

25.9 (-5.5%)

12.9 (+7.5%)

Xiangfan lies to the northwest of Wuhan, between the Daba and the Dabie Mountains.  Though not as well known as some of the other cities in the province, its population is nearly 6 million and it has the second largest industrial output in Hubei.

It is the main manufacturing centre in the northern part of the province and benefits from a good supply of electric power, as well as fresh water from the Hanjiang River, which is a major tributary of the Yangtze River.

Mineral resources consist of rutile, phosphorous, clay, aluminium and barite.

Agriculture within the area under the jurisdiction of Xiangfan consists of summer grains, cotton and vegetable oil.

Manufacturing consists of motor vehicles, clothing and textiles, building materials and a range of other industries

Xiangfan High-Tech Development Zone(襄樊高新技術產業開發區)

This is a state level high-tech industry development zone that concentrates on optical glass.  The development zone is divided into several development areas.  Dongfeng Automobile Company is situated in the eastern area.  Centres for light industry, textile and chemical industry are located in the west to north.  Commercial and trade centres are established in the south.

For more information: 

v      Xiangfan Municipal Government Website:

v      Xiangfan Science and Technology Information Network:






Industrial Output

Retail Sales


(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

3,993 (0.0%)

34.6 (-8.9%)

20.2 (-4.7%)

12.6 (+7.7%)

Yichang is near the border of Hubei and Sichuan Provinces and lies at the foot of Hubei’s western mountains.  The main industrial activities include electric power, oil, chemical and light industries.

It is the site of the Dongshan and Huting Economic and Technological Development Zones.



1999 data:



Industrial Output

Retail Sales


(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

2,494 (+1.0%)

18.0 (+11.8%)

11.3 (-11.0%)

6.8 (+7.9%)

Huangshi is a major part of the eastern industrial region of Hubei Province, situated about 100 km downstream from Wuhan. 

The main industrial focus of the city is metallurgical, engineering, textiles, chemicals and building materials.



1999 data:



Industrial Output

Retail Sales


(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

6,421 (+0.9%)

27.9 (-14.2%)

19.3 (-9.8%)

15.5 (+7.6%)

Jingzhou lies directly west of Wuhan and directly south of Xiangfan.  The ancient city of Jingzhou (荊州古城)is a major tourist attraction.




Jingmen is situated about 80 km directly north of Jingzhou and known for its petrochemical complex.




1999 data:



Industrial Output

Retail Sales


(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

(Rmb bn)

3,412 (+0.3%)

16.7 (-10.6%)

23.1 (-8.3%)

6.6 (+3.1%)

Shiyan is located in the northern part of the province and serves the surrounding rural area.


Information Sources:


Information contained in this page was obtained from:

Hubei Economic and Trade Commission (

Hong Kong Trade Development Council (


Additional Information:


The Chamber maintains regular contact with:

Hubei Economic and Trade Commission


Hubei Sub-Council of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)

We are in the process of maintaining regular contact with organisations in the cities listed.  Please contact us if you require additional information about Hubei Province or any of the cities listed.



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