JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2018, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (4): 552-562.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.20170244

• Resource Economics • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Importation, Exportation, and Productivity of Resources in China: Evolution, Challenges, and Solutions

ZENG Xian-lai1, YAN Xiao-yu2, ZHANG Yu-ping3, MIAO You-ping3, LI Jin-hui1   

  1. 1.State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China;
    2. Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK;
    3. Chinese National WEEE Recycling Engineering Research Center, Jingmen 448124, China
  • Received:2017-03-27 Revised:2017-08-04 Online:2018-04-10 Published:2018-04-10
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 71373141;National Social Sciences Foundation of China Major Program, No. 16ZDA071;China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, No. 2016T90104.

Abstract: Sustainable utilization of resources is playing the vital role in realizing the sustainable development and ecological civilization in China. However, rapidly increasing economy in recent three decades has caused severe resource shortage and serious environmental pollution. To uncover the relationship between resource utilization and economic development since 1949, in particular since reform and open, we examined the evolution of importation, exportation and productivity of resources in China and revealed the confronted challenges and possible solutions. Main findings include: 1) Natural minerals and urban mines consisting of metal minerals, petroleum and part solid waste dominated the importation from 11 countries and regions in recent years. 2) Major exported resources were industrial products and aquatic & seawater products. The share and structure of product trade remains almost no change, but the total importation was growing dramatically since 2000. 3) China’s resource productivity reached 1.6 yuan/kg in 2010, far less than those of many industrial nations. During 2010-2015, resource productivity was boosted at the growth rate of 15%. Several emerging challenges are also outlined here: 1) Exportation of manufacturing has declined and lost traditional advantages for its low adding value, weak technical level, increasing labor cost and high dependence on core technology and market. 2) China’s potential challenges in global value chain are mainly from underdeveloped fundamental facilities, weak warehouse facility and increasing labor cost. Confronting challenges, China should enhance the role in global value chain by transferring from resource importation to product importation, and meanwhile carry out circular economy strategy to improve resource efficiency and decline environmental pollution.

Key words: circular economy, product trade, resources, resources productivity, resources utilization

CLC Number: 

  • F062.1