Striving to become China's 'central city'

Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, is striving to become a "national central city" embodying all aspects of new notions of development.

Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, is striving to become a "national central city" embodying all aspects of new notions of development.

It plans to become an economic center for western China, a science and technology center, a financial center, culture and innovation center, foreign communications center and an integrated transportation hub.

In July, Chengdu officially released its "50 New Industrial Policies," setting out a plan that by 2022, the value-added strategic emerging industrial sector would make up about 20 percent of the gross domestic product.

The new economy will drive economic growth. Advanced manufacturing will account for about 50 percent of total industrial added value. The added value generated by producer services will amount to 60 percent of the services sector. 

A national pilot free trade zone, covering about 1,120 square kilometers _ with about 100 square kilometers in Chengdu _ was unveiled at a ceremony in the city on April 1, which is also likely to drive regional economic growth.

Striving to become China's 'central city'

Workers at the production line of PC giant Dell's Chengdu plant 

As of September, 12,051 new registered enterprises signed up for the China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone, bring in registered capital of 174 billion yuan (US$26 billion).

Chengdu is home to around 300 enterprises from the Global Fortune 500, enjoying direct economic and trade exchanges with over 200 cities worldwide. 

Construction has begun on Sino-German, Sino-French, Sino-Italian and Xingchuan high-level international cooperation projects.

And the settlement of a series of large-scale projects, such as Intel's Advanced Test Technology Plant with a total investment of US$1.6 billion, highlight Chengdu's great potential in rapidly integrating with the global industrial chain, building economic center for western China and becoming the nation's advanced manufacturing center.   

Ensuring technology is people-oriented is also a priority. 

Chengdu has rolled out several new policies to attract high-level overseas professionals. It aims attract and nurture 100 top innovation and entrepreneurship teams and 1,000 high-level innovation and entrepreneurship professionals. It will offer a comprehensive sponsorship of up to 100 million yuan for top international teams or professionals, such as those Nobel Prize winners. 

The city's preferential policies have already shown impressive results. 

France's internationally renowned Sophia Antipolis technology park has signed a cooperation deal with the Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone to build an innovation center.

Patrice Lefeu, an independent adviser to the European Commission, comes to Chengdu almost every year and for him, innovation and entrepreneurship have already made Chengdu a global focus, West China Metropolis Daily reported recently.

Striving to become China's 'central city'

Intime City, Chengdu

An official from the Chengdu Science and Technology Bureau said the new policy breaks the constraints of the existing system.

The new approach will allow researchers, college teachers and other experts to join the movement toward scientific innovation and entrepreneurship.

Under the Belt and Road Initiative, Chengdu is also giving priority to international links.

So far, the city has built international friendship links with 34 cities overseas and has 50 foreign cities as cooperative partners. Sixteen countries have consulates in the city and 102 international flights operate from the Shuangliu International Airport, which ranks as the Chinese mainland's fourth busiest airport with 46 million passengers a year.

The city received more than 93.83 million tourists in the first half of this year, up 5.2 percent from a year earlier. The tourist revenue increased by 19.91 percent year on year to 129.5 billion yuan.  

With its long history and rich culture, Chengdu has always been a culture and innovation center for southwestern China, showcasing a culture of innovation and creation, elegance and style, optimism, inclusiveness, friendliness and pubic welfare. 

During an August event on building a western China cultural and creative center, Chengdu was awarded as one of the World Cities Culture Forum members.

As "The Fourth Chinese Cartoon City" and "The Third Chinese Mobile Phone Games City," Chengdu nurtured the most popular game in the world _ "King of Glory" _ which has more than 200 million registered users.

Conor Roche, a special representative on behalf of the World Cities Culture Forum president, addressed great expectation on the new comer. He believes Chengdu's joining will prompt the global cultural exchange and the development of cultural and creative industries around the world.

The city is establishing a new financial ecosystem with science and technology assets and a range of finance operations, as well as its establishing a financial institute cluster, financial market and trading center, financial services center and talent center.

The Milken Institute Asia Center in September released its annual report, selecting Chengdu as China's best-performing city. With a score of 98.97, the city topped the other first-tier cities, ranking it the nation's most economically successful city.

Tianfu International Airport is under construction, making the city only the third to have two international airports, after Beijing and Shanghai.

Shuangliu International Airport has 150 million passengers a year, and annual cargo turnover totals 1.1 million tons.

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