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Chengdu leading light of development in western China

Updated: 2013-02-08 11:06
By Chen Jia ( China Daily)

Chengdu leading light of development in western China

A high-end residential neighborhood in Chengdu. [Photo/China Daily] 

Domestic, foreign companies see great potential for their businesses

Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, is expected to be a pillar of economic growth in western China in the coming years, analysts said.

Chengdu has a population of about 14 million, making up a sixth of Sichuan's total. It is now the fifth-largest city measured by population in China, making it potentially one of the most important markets in the western part of the country.

To take advantage of its positioning as the economic driver and largest market in western China, the city is establishing a modern manufacturing base - high-end automotive and electronics, for example - while at the same time creating the conditions for a high-end service industry to flourish.

Chengdu has seized development opportunities in recent years and benefited from industrial transfers from the eastern coastal provinces to the west, said Deng Lixin, a researcher with the Chengdu municipal policy research office.

Although China's economic growth may proceed at a slower pace in the coming years and the global economy may continue to be gloomy, Chengdu still has opportunities to speed up its development, Deng said.

"Strategic investment will be very important to support the economy, especially in the construction of urban railways and the development of emerging new-energy industries and new-materials and cultural projects," he said.

The central government's decision to ease its monetary policies and use fiscal stimulus may provide the right conditions for the city's growth, Deng said.

"The manufacturing sector depends on innovations in information technology ... and environmental protection measures.

"Research and development will be the main driving force of high-tech enterprises," Deng said.

Chengdu's gross domestic product in 2012 was expected to reach 800 billion yuan ($128 billion), up at least 13 percent from the previous year.

Its foreign trade was expected to surge 25.1 percent to reach $47.4 billion, with exports hitting $30.4 billion, up 32.4 percent year-on-year.

Its GDP growth rate was more than 5 percentage points higher than the national rate of growth, which stood at 7.8 percent last year.

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