Before 1978, China's economy had a weak foundation in agriculture, and the ratio between light and heavy industries was unbalanced. Since 1978, China has adopted a series of policies and measures giving priority to the development of light industry, expanding the import of top-quality consumer goods, strengthening the construction of basic industry and facilities, and devoting major efforts to developing tertiary industry, so as to make China's economic structure more coordinated, optimized and balanced. The relations between different industries and within industries in terms of proportion have clearly been improved; the proportion of primary industry has declined, while that of the secondary and tertiary industries has grown; the growth of the overall national economy was driven formerly by the primary and secondary industries, but now it is being driven by the secondary and tertiary industries. Actually the growth of secondary industry becomes the main engine of rapid development for China's economy.
While the whole industrial structure is changing, the internal structure of every industry has also changed greatly. In the total output value of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries, the proportion of pure-agricultural output value has declined, while that of forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries has grown; the structure of light and heavy industries has escalated from the light-pattern structure stressing "consumption compensation" to the heavy-pattern structure of "investment guidance"; within the tertiary industry the proportion of the traditional industries, such as communications, transportation and commerce, has declined, while real estate, banking and insurance, and telecommunications, have developed rapidly.