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Economy of Chongqing

Commuter Rail Line

Located at the head of the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam, Chongqing is planned to be the beachhead for the development of the western part of the country. Massive public works are currently under way in the city, including overhead and surface commuter rail lines connecting the many districts of the city. Fairly recently, with central government policies aimed at further developing Western China, Chongqing has become a "Gateway to the west". Foreign investment in the city is growing at a fast pace.

Historically, Chongqing has been a major trading inland port, transporting goods from the southwestern provinces to eastern China. During the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), Chongqing was transformed into a heavy industrial city, especially the military industry which continued to thrive for decades after 1949. Since the 1980s, many of these military industry enterprises have undergone reforms and turned from producing military goods to mostly civilian products for survival and growth.

Industry is the mainstay of Chongqing's economy. There are almost 10,000 factories with fixed assets of over 73 billion RMB and a working staff of 1.2 million. Its pillar industries include machine building, metallurgy, chemicals, environmental protection, foods and tourism. In addition, prominent industries, such as electronics, building materials, glass and ceramics and daily use chemicals are also comparatively well developed.

Chongqing is rich in natural resources, with more than 40 kinds of minerals. Its coal reserves are estimated to be 4.8 billion tonnes. The Chuandong Natural Gas Field in Chongqing is China's largest inland production base of natural gas, with deposits of 270 billion cubic meters, accounting for more than one-fifth of China's total. Chongqing also contains China's largest reserve of strontium, and China has the 2nd largest reserve of the mineral in the world. Chongqing is also home to Asia's largest aluminum plant - South West Aluminium - which rolled out 213,000 tonnes of finished products in 2004 - for companies engaged in building materials, printing, electrical appliances, aerospace, packaging, and vehicle production.

Chongqing's agricultural sector still employs a significant portion of the population. Other than rice, fruits especially oranges are important sources of income for the farmers. In the past 25 years, surplus labor resulted a huge number of farmers to migrate to the relatively more developed industrial centers of southern and eastern China for employment opportunities, thus making Chongqing one of the biggest labor export areas in China.