With dreams of becoming the "Hong Kong of the North", Dalian is China's 5th largest port city and the largest in northern China. While its pillar industries include petrochemicals, equipment manufacturing, shipbuilding, and electronics and information technology, Dalian has also developed a booming logistics business and a high end manufacturing and software industry. Numerous multi-national high tech firms have located their operations in Dalian; beginning with Intel in late 2010, firms such as Dell, HP, and IBM have followed suit. Designed by the Ministry of Commerce as the service-outsourcing base of China, Dalian targets the markets of Japan and South Korea.
Dalian is also building a strong financial services industry with many financial firms establishing a presence in the city. Additionally, the city is home to the second largest commodity exchange in China and tenth largest in the world, as well as the world’s second largest future market for soybeans.
Dalian's GDP grew 10.3% to RMB700.3 billion in 2012.