Since Xiamen Special Economic Zone was established, it has opened up to foreign direct investment and created many jobs, factories, export opportunities for local companies and multi-national corporations. Xiamen benefits particularly from investment capital from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Xiamen's primary economic activities include fishing, shipbuilding, food processing, tanning, textiles, machine tools manufacturing, chemical industries, financial and telecommunication services. Xiamen is one of the favourite destinations for foreign investors. By the end of 2000, a total of 4,991 projects with foreign direct investment were approved in the city, with a contractual foreign investment amount of USD17.527 billion and an actual foreign investment amount of USD11.452 billion.
In 1992, Xiamen was ranked among the top 10 Chinese cities in relation to comprehensive strengths with its GDP increasing by an average of over 20% annually. In 2000, Xiamen's GDP amounted to 50.115 billion Yuan, an increase of 15.1% over the previous year, 1.1 percentage points over the expected increase target; and the per-capita GDP was about 4,650 US dollars. Further economic reforms were introduced and this brought about the total volume of imports and exports in 2000 reached USD10.049 billion, while that of exports totalled to USD5.880 billion