China Daily (Canada) - - ANALYSIS -

GDP growth rate tar­get set for

Chongqing this year city bet­ter con­nect with the cen­tral and coastal ar­eas of China. He said he hopes Chongqing plays a ma­jor role in the go-west cam­paign, the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and the Yangtze River Eco­nomic Zone.

In early Novem­ber the cen­tral govern­ment un­der­lined how im­por­tant it sees Chongqing to the coun­try’s eco­nomic fu­ture when Pres­i­dent Xi, on a visit to Sin­ga­pore, an­nounced that the city would be given the eco­nomic and in­dus­trial sta­tus that had been be­stowed on two other cities, Suzhou in Jiangsu prov­ince, with its in­dus­trial park set up in 1994; and Tian­jin, with its eco-city, which opened in 2008.

The China-Sin­ga­pore (Chongqing) Demon­stra­tion Ini­tia­tive on Strate­gic Con­nec­tiv­ity will fo­cus on mod­ern in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity and the mod­ern ser­vice econ­omy, such as fi­nan­cial ser­vices, avi­a­tion, lo­gis­tics and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy.

Ruan Lu, di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the Chongqing mu­nic­i­pal fi­nance of­fice, said that as the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive is im­ple­mented, it presents op­por­tu­ni­ties not only to the fi­nance in­dus­try but to other sec­tors to set up op­er­a­tions in the city or for those al­ready there to ex­tend them well be­yond the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“The strat­egy of­fers a huge op­por­tu­nity for Chongqing to un­lock its po­ten­tial and em­brace the out­side world. We are de­vel­op­ing in­no­va­tive fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, ser­vices and prod­ucts now. They in­clude pro­vid­ing off­shore fi­nan­cial ser­vices, cross-bor­der ren­minbi set­tle­ment and cap­i­tal sup­port for Chongqing com­pa­nies look­ing to ex­pand out of the re­gion, fa­cil­i­tat­ing Chongqing com­pa­nies get­ting for­eign ex­change to ex­pand over­seas.”

By the end of De­cem­ber, Chongqing’s fi­nan­cial as­sets were said to be worth 4.3 tril­lion yuan, 14.7 per­cent more than a year pre­vi­ously, and the fi­nance sec­tor ac­counted for 9 per­cent of the city’s GDP.

Last year there were 1,499 fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in Chongqing, a 54 per­cent in­crease in just two years.

Chongqing’s achieve­ments in the fi­nance in­dus­try are ev­i­dent in its Liangjiang New Area, a na­tional-level de­vel­op­ment zone that cov­ers more than 1,200 square kilo­me­ters and has a pop­u­la­tion of 2.2 mil­lion.

In the area, set up in 2010, a great deal of ef­fort has been made in build­ing the fi­nan­cial sec­tor. In the first half of last year the value of the sec­tor grew 11.3 bil­lion yuan, or 23 per­cent.

Many of Chongqing’s fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions are in Jiang­beizui, a cen­tral busi­ness district of Liangjiang New Area, and there were about 600 of them by the end of last year. Five years ago Jiang­beizui was mainly farm­land,

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