Fast-growing Chengdu has surpassed technology hub Shenzhen as the best-performing economy of any Chinese city, as per a yearly report by US-based think tank the Milken Institute. The city went up six places from last year to grab the top spot for the third time since 2015 in the index that ranked 262 Chinese cities on nine growth indicators like jobs, wages, gross regional product (GRP) per capita and foreign direct investment (FDI) growth between 2012 and 2017. As the capital of Sichuan province, Chengdu – alongside Chongqing – is one among the twin growth engines in China’s western region, has cemented its place as a producing hub specializing in defense-related production. The city of some 16.33 million ranked the most preferred (number 1) in terms of employment growth, fifth for wage growth, and fifteenth for GRP per-capita growth among China’s first- and second-tier cities, the survey said. First-tier cities refer to municipalities directly governed by the Chinese central government and second-tier cities, including capital cities of provinces, and Dalian, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shenzhen, and Xiamen, in step with the report. “The city’s geographic location inside the Diamond Economic Zone makes it a crucial entrance for the southwest region. Investments during a 10,000km Chengdu-Europe express Rail can help improve China’s logistical connection with the western world supporting the [Belt and Road] Initiative,” the report said. Chengdu surged to number one spot due to strong gains in its ratio of foreign investment to GRP, as well as employment and wage growth, between 2016 and 2017, the report said.
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