SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (4): 588-597.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2021.04.005

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Spatio-temporal Evolution and Export Growth and Decline Mechanism of Export-oriented Foreign-invested Enterprises in China

Xia Xinming1,2(), He Canfei1,2()   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Lincoln Institute Center for Urban Development and Land Policy, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2020-02-01 Revised:2020-08-12 Online:2021-04-25 Published:2021-06-04
  • Contact: He Canfei;
  • Supported by:
    Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China(41731278);The National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars(41425001)


Since the 1990s, China has shifted to an export-led economic growth model, with imports and exports playing an important role in economic growth. The research object of this article focuses on export-oriented foreign-invested enterprises, which are foreign-invested enterprises mainly engaged in export trade. This article describes the evolution of the geographical pattern of export-oriented foreign-invested enterprises in China by using the export data of China Customs Trade Database from 2000 to 2013. In general, since joining the WTO, China’s export-oriented foreign-invested enterprises have shown a growing trend, and the change trend of their export trade volume is also basically consistent with the change trend of China’s overall export trade. The export products are mainly capital-intensive and technology-intensive products, while these two types of products are the most affected by the financial crisis, which to a certain extent reflects the process of China’s deepening openness. The distribution of export-oriented foreign-invested enterprises in China exhibits an uneven distribution, mainly concentrated in large cities. Spatially, Chinese export-oriented foreign-invested enterprises are concentrated in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, Shandong Peninsula and Liaoning Province. There exists a gradual diffusion from coastal areas to central and western regions and from core cities to surrounding cities. From the perspective of export markets, Chinese export-oriented foreign-invested enterprises are exporting to more diversified destinations, and the export value has increased massively. In this article, an export city-destination country panel model is developed to explore the growth and decline factors of export-oriented foreign-invested enterprises. The results show that export growth and export recession of export-oriented foreign-invested enterprises are the result of the interaction of various factors, which embodies the theory of evolutionary economic geography, agglomeration externality and the eclectic theory of international production. And three hypotheses are verified. Firstly, there is a significant contribution of spillover effects from path dependence to export growth and a certain degree of hindrance to export recession. Secondly, local conditions play an important role in the location selection of export-oriented foreign-invested enterprises. Thirdly, policies have an impact on the development of export-oriented foreign-invested enterprises, and government decision-making plays a complementary role in the development of market economy.

Key words: foreign-invested enterprises, export-oriented, export-destination country linkage, location selection, growth and recession mechanism

CLC Number: 

  • F752.6