IMF Economic Review

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 336–378 | Cite as

Shanghai's Trade, China's Growth: Continuity, Recovery, and Change since the Opium Wars

  • Wolfgang Keller
  • Ben Li
  • Carol H Shiue


This paper provides an analysis of China's trade performance from the 1840s to the present. Its focus is on Shanghai, the world's largest port, which began direct trade relations with Western nations starting in 1843. The paper finds that Shanghai had, and continues to have, an important role in China's trade structure. Applying the well-known gravity equation of trade for Shanghai's treaty port period, the paper shows that this relationship fits today's actual trade quite well when projected into the modern period. Second, the foreign presence, as measured by foreign direct investment (FDI), in Shanghai is shown to be related not only to trade in the past, but also to trade today, which suggests that FDI is one of the sources of persistence in foreign trade.


F10 N70 O40 


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© International Monetary Fund 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang Keller
  • Ben Li
  • Carol H Shiue

There are no affiliations available

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