A key characteristic of emerging and developing economies is the shift from agriculture to the industrial and services industries. While agriculture is often a vital component for an emerging economy’s GDP, most countries seek to diversify into more high-value industries. One example of this is China. In 2001, agriculture was responsible for 17.7 percent of China’s GDP while industries and services sector made up 49.3 percent and 33 percent respectively.
In less than ten years, the importance of China’s agriculture has shrunk to 9.6 percent of GDP, while the services industry experienced massive growth to 43.6 percent of China’s GDP in 2010. The industrial sector, which is China’s main driver for economic growth, has also shrunk to 46.8 percent of China’s GDP in 2010.
As the emerging and developing countries increase in development, they is likely to be a similar pattern in the industry sectors. Advanced economies such as the US and much of Western Europe still maintain a strong agriculture sector, however the importance of the industry often decreases as a country’s development increases.
The following infographic illustrates the difference in GDP composition by sector between a less-developed economy (Laos), a moderately developed economy (Vietnam), an advanced developing economy (China), and a developed economy (Japan) in 2010.