Rizhao Economic and Technological Development Area was upgraded to a national-level zone in 2010. This area is connected by three railways, three expressways and several highways. Over the past years, Rizhao Economic and Technological Development Area has developed major industries: printing and packaging, automobile and parts and food processing. It is also planning to develop the pharmaceutical industries, equipment manufacturing industries and many more.
The figures depict that the economy of Rizhao has urbanized rapidly. In 2008 the GDP of the city raised to 77,314 billion yuan, nearly increasing 15.1% compared to the previous year. The contribution of the primary industry was 8.274 billion yuan (↑ 5.7%), the secondary industry was 41.973 billion yuan (↑ 17.5%), and that of the tertiary industry was 27.067 billion yuan (↑ 15.1%).
In 2018, the total industrial output was reached 27.96 billion yuan ((USD 4.05 billion), and the yearly growth rate has reached almost 9%. Rizhao is home to over 75 industrial companies with a substantial annual production capacity. World's largest sugar processing industry is located in Rizhao.
In addition, it is one of the 15 coastal cities chosen for major construction as it houses two international ports and a railway line linking Asia with Europe. Rizhao is also the Eastern Bridgehead of the New Euro-Asia Continental Bridge.
The city is renowned for promoting and incorporating sustainable energy in all construction projects through solar panels, thereby reducing carbon emissions and pollution. Nearly 99% of households use solar water heaters and traffic lights, street lights and park illuminations are powered by photovoltaic solar cells. The municipal government has made it mandatory to install solar panels in all buildings. The city is covered with half-million square meters of solar water heating panels equaling 0.5-megawatts of electric water heaters. It consistently has been occupying the top positing in China for its air quality and designated it as the Environmental Protection Model City by China's SEPA.
The city has also been awarded ten titles, namely: National Model City of Environmental Protection, National Sanitary City, National Garden City, the Fascinating City of China, National Pilot City of Circular Economy and National Ecological Demonstration Zone.