Guiyang tops list of best-per­form­ing cities

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By HUANG YING huangy­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Guiyang, the cap­i­tal city of south­west­ern China’s Guizhou province, topped the list of best-per­form­ing cities in China, beat­ing even a cou­ple of coastal megac­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to an eco­nomic study re­leased by the Milken In­sti­tute onMon­day.

The in­de­pen­dent US eco­nomic think tank based its study on a mix of eco­nomic fac­tors in 33 first- and sec­ond-tier cities and 232 thirdtier cities across China. These cities are eval­u­ated by their growth in jobs, wages and re­gional gross do­mes­tic prod­uct over one and five years, lev­els of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment and prox­im­ity of high value-added in­dus­try em­ploy­ment.

Guiyang, which moved from the 11th po­si­tion in last year’s in­au­gu­ral rank­ing, to the top po­si­tion this year, is fol­lowed by Shang­hai and the north­ern port city of Tian­jin, which came in sec­ond and third in the rank­ing, as they did last year.

De­spite be­ing in less-de­vel­oped south­west­ern re­gions, Guiyang ben­e­fited a lot from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s ef­fort to bridge the gap be­tween the coastal and in­land re­gions. In par­tic­u­lar, the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive has helped Guiyang at­tract more in­vest­ment, thus spurring eco­nomic growth.

“Our data-driven anal­y­sis re­veals that in­creased open­ness, eco­nomic re­struc­tur­ing, and ur­ban­iza­tion, of­ten in the form of ma­jor ur­ban clus­ter­ing, have all led to eco­nomic im­prove­ment and de­vel­op­ment in China,” said Perry Wong, man­ag­ing direc­tor of re­search at the Milken In­sti­tute, who is also

The cities in the less-de­vel­oped in­land re­gions have el­e­vated their growth rates...” man­ag­ing direc­tor of re­search, Milken In­sti­tute

Perry Wong, co-au­thor of the study re­port.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Bank, China’s ur­ban­iza­tion rate reached 56 per­cent at the end of 2015, ex­ceed­ing the tar­geted rate of 51 per­cent set by the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15).

“The cities in the less-de­vel­oped in­land re­gions have el­e­vated their growth rates as large-scale ur­ban­iza­tion con­tin­ues to drive China’s econ­omy,” saidWong.

Among the top 10 cities in the rank­ing of first- and sec­ond-tier cities, half of them are coastal cities in eastern, north­east­ern and south­ern China, in­clud­ing Dalian in Liaon­ing province and Haikou in Hainan province, the rest are all from the in­land re­gions.

Two in­land cities be­sides Guiyang de­buted in the top 10 list for the first time — Nan­chang in Jiangxi province and Xi’an in Shaanxi province came in the sev­enth and ninth place re­spec­tively.

The in­creased open­ness brought up by China’s 12th Five-Year Plan and the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive also helped un­lock po­ten­tial trad­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties along a se­ries of in­land re­gions.

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