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Kunming Economy

Kunming has 3 economic advantages over many other cities in southwest China: significant natural resources, a big local consumer market and a mild climate. Kunming's economy was ranked 12th of Chinese cities in 1992. Due to its position at the center of Yunnan, one of China's largest producers of agricultural products, minerals andhydroelectricity, Kunming is the main commercial hub for most of the province's resources.

In May 1995, the State Council approved Kunming as an Open City. By the end of 1995, the city had approved 929 overseas-funded enterprises with a total investment of $2.3 billion including $1.1 billion of foreign capital. More than 40 projects each had an investment of more than $9 million. What’s more, over 2,000 foreign companies have invested in Kunming, as of 2008.

Flower Industry

Yunnan has developed into the largest flower export base in Asia, with many Dutch experts having transferred technology to the area. The Dounan Flower Market, located in suburban Kunming, is the largest in China with daily sales of 2.5 million yuan (USD 300,000) from the 2 million sprays of flowers (as of 2006). 

Chenggong, 20 minutes drive from central Kunming and already a major source of fresh flowers, has plans to emerge as the "Flower Hub of Asia". According to the Kunming Administration Public Information Service Web, Chenggong exported 812 tons of flowers to Singapore in 2007, with trade volume of US$1,300,000.

The authorities in Kunming have formulated plans for the development of each district in Chenggong. While Kunming's administrative authorities have already moved to Chenggong, a number of key universities in Yunnan, like Yunnan University and Yunnan Normal University are also relocating to the area. With Chenggong already home to Kunming International Airport and the Kunming International Flora Auction Trading Center Co., Ltd. the county has positioned itself as one of China's main flower producers.

The "Kunming International Flower Exhibition" is now held every year. 

Retail and real estate

Kunming is the only major city in Yunnan province, with a population of 4.8 million people. Real wealth has been generated in the last decade through pillar industries such as hydroelectricity, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, tourism and the local property market.  Kunming is quickly becoming one of China's most promising second-tier retail markets.

Modern retail stores have sprung up over the past four years. Several hypermarkets and supermarket chains have taken root while convenience stores are proliferating.Kunming has a high concentration of foreign retailers and is already home to four Carrefours, one B&Q, one Metro and three Wal-Marts. Kunming also has three Watson's outlets and a growing number of international fast food outlets such as McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut. Louis Vuitton recently opened an outlet in Kunming, one of 16 nationwide, in the luxury-focused Gingko Shopping Center in the city's center. Gingko also contains outlets for high-end goods by Salvatore Ferragamo, Chanel, Versace, Mont Blanc and Burberry. The French luxury brand Hermes chose Gingko in Kunming as the location for its first mainland retail outlet two years ago. Luxury car companies are also making their presence felt in Kunming. Big names including Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, Lexus and Porsche have dealerships in the city.

In July 2006, Hong Kong-based property developer Shui On Land signed an agreement with the Kunming government in relation to a residential, business and cultural development covering 2.5 million square meters.The area around Lake Dianchi, just southwest of the city center, is currently seeing a boom in high-end residential projects.


The city has a 2,460,000-line telephone switching system with 3,270,800 customers, averaging 57.3 phones for every 100 people.

Kunming plans to be blanketed with Wi-Fi connectivity by the end of 2009 with the "Kunming Wi-Fi Metropolitan Area Network project". It would deploy more than 3 thousand access points in Kunming to provide the convenience and reliability of NonStop Wireless networking.

The first phase will enable Wi-Fi access along Kunming's main ring roads, important scenic spots, the central business district and some residential areas. Phases two and three will extend coverage to the entire Kunming prefecture area.

Development zones

Kunming has two major development zones, Kunming High-tech Industrial Development Zone (biological medicine, new materials, electronic information, photoelectron, agriculture) and Kunming Economic and Technology Development Zone (mechanical equipment production, biological science and food industry, information industry, software).

Kunming Economic & Technology Development Zone

First established in 1992, Kunming Economic & Technology Development Zone is a national-level zone approved by State Council. Kunming is located in east-central Yunnan province with preferential location. After several years' development, the zone has formed its pillar industries, which include tobacco processing, machinery manufacturing, electronic information, and biotechnology.

Kunming High-tech Industrial Development Zone

The Kunming High-tech Industrial Development Zone (KMHNZ), is a state-level high-tech industrial zone established in 1992 to the northwest of downtown Kunming. It is administratively part of Kunming City. It has covers an area of 9 square kilometres (3.5 sq mi). KMHNZ is located in the northwest part of Kunming city, with 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from Kunming Railway Station, and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Kunming Wujiaba International Airport.