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,