Overview of Chengdu City
Chengdu, known as Rong (Hibiscus) for short, the capital of Sichuan Province, enjoys the reputation of the “Land of Abundance” since ancient times. It is a renowned historical and cultural city with its name and site unchanged over the past 2,000 years. As the only mega city in the world with a population of over ten million where snow mountains over 5000 meters high can be seen in far distance, Chengdu is located between 102°54'E ~104°53'E and 30°05'N~31°26'N, in the west of Sichuan Basin and the hinterland of Chengdu Plain. It is in the subtropical humid monsoon climate zone, with mild climate and distinct four seasons. The annual average temperature is 15.5-18.2℃. Chengdu is a vital center for economy, science and technology, finance, culture and creativity, international exchanges, as well as an international comprehensive transportation and telecommunication hub in China. As the pivotal node of the Belt and Road Initiative, Chengdu is the National Central City closest to Europe and shoulders the great mission of becoming an international gateway hub in western China linking the east with the west and Europe with Asia. The city covers an area of 14,300 square kilometers and administers Sichuan Tianfu New Area (the part under direct administration of Chengdu), Chengdu Eastern New Area, Chengdu High-tech Industrial Development Zone, and 20 districts, county-level cities and counties. It has a permanent population of 21.192 million and an urban permanent population of 16.843 million, with an urbanization rate of 79.5%. In the past ten years, Chengdu’s total permanent population has been added by 6.07 million. Chengdu radiates over an enormous market of 380 million people in western China. The city ranked 59th in GaWC 2020. By 2035, the building of a park city demonstration zone which practices the new development philosophy and a socialist modern international metropolis in western China with global influence and reputation will be basically completed.
Building Chengdu as a National Central City. We are stepping up efforts to build Chengdu into “four centers, one hub, one renowned city” — an important national economic center, an important national science and technology innovation center, an international consumption center, a financial center in western China, an international gateway hub and a world-renowned cultural city. 315 out of the Fortune 500 companies have set up presence in Chengdu. The city has established trade ties with 228 countries and regions around the globe. In 2022, the GPD of Chengdu reached 2081.75 billion yuan, up 2.8% year on year. The total investment in fixed assets grew by 5.0%. The total volume of foreign trade (import and export) reached 834.64 billion yuan, up 1.6% year on year, among which export exceeded 500 billion yuan. 566 new foreign-invested enterprises were established in Chengdu. The foreign direct investment (FDI) amounted to 2.59 billion US dollars, making Chengdu the leading city in central and western China and accounting for over 73% of FDI in Sichuan Province. Chengdu was approved as a national demonstration city for intellectual property rights protection and its urban innovation index rose to the 29th worldwide. 687 new brands located their first stores in Chengdu. The total retail sales of consumer goods stood at 909.65 billion yuan and cross-border e-commerce transactions reached 89.85 billion yuan, up by 31.1% year on year. The number of registered market entities, added by 579,000, reached 3.64 million, ranking first among sub-provincial cities. The number of A-listed companies and domestic and foreign listed companies were added by 15 and 142 respectively, ranking first in central and western China. Chengdu ranks 34th in the Global Financial Centers Index (GFCI). Up to February 2023, 23 countries have been approved to set up consular missions in Chengdu, with the number ranking third in Chinese mainland and first in central and western China. The number of international sister cities and friendship cities has reached 105. Chengdu has been awarded as “China’s Benchmark City for International Business Environment” for three consecutive years, ranking first in the “Most Attractive Cities for Investment” for nine consecutive years and has topped among the new first-tier cities in terms of Cities’ Business Attractiveness in China for six years in a row.
Building Chengdu as a beautiful and livable park city. We vigorously explore the new practice of harmonious integration of nature, people and the city, as well as the new path of transformation and development of mega cities (those with over 10 million permanent residents in urban areas) and large cities (those with 5-10 million permanent residents in urban areas). We advance the building of a park city demonstration zone which practices the new development philosophy. Prioritizing eco-environmental progress and pursuing green development, we strive for eco-friendly landscapes with mountains, greenways and waters well integrated in the city. We promote high-quality construction of the Giant Panda National Park. We have planned construction of the world’s longest 16,900-kilometer Tianfu greenway system and the world’s largest “urban green heart”—the 1,275 km² Longquan Mountain Urban Forest Park. In 2022, 1,845 hectares of urban green space and 270,000 square meters of three-dimensional green space was added. As of now, 6,158 kilometers of greenways at all levels and 1,514 parks of various types have been built. We build the urban rail transit network at a rapid pace by vigorously advancing transit-oriented development (TOD). The accumulated mileage of rail transit network in Chengdu now adds up to 558 kilometers, ranking fourth nationwide. We build Chengdu as an international consumption center where multi-type demonstration consumption scenarios are developed. There are more than 4,000 cafes in Chengdu, ranking fifth in the world. We have launched the Ten Major Projects for a Better Life and Chengdu ranks first in social satisfaction with the quality of its public service in China. Chengdu has been rated as China’s Happiest City for 14 consecutive years. “Chengdu, a vibrant and hospitable Park City with snowy mountain skyline” has become the city’s name card. Over 10,000 foreigners from 160 countries (regions) are long-term residents in Chengdu. There are 65 institutions of higher learning in Chengdu with about 1.1 million enrolled students, including Sichuan University, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Southwest Jiaotong University and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, providing for enterprises around 260,000 college graduates each year in a wide range of fields such as electronic information, economic management, etc. There are 87 secondary vocational schools covering a full range of disciplines with over 200,000 enrolled students. We have vigorously promoted innovation and entrepreneurship by the young. With a total of 6.223 million talents, which ranks fourth nationwide, Chengdu has secured the title of “China’s Most Attractive City for Talents” and been among “Amazing China - the Most Attractive Chinese Cities for Foreigners” for four consecutive years. There are schools for children of foreigners like Chengdu International School, Léman International School Chengdu and QSI International School of Chengdu, as well as over 30 pilot schools of international understanding education, all of which provide high-quality education services ranging from kindergarten to high school. There are 18 medical institutions providing international medical service, including West China Hospital of Sichuan University and Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital, among which West China Hospital of Sichuan University is at top level in China and well-known in the world with a history of more than 120 years. In November 2021, at the tenth Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Chengdu was awarded the World Smart City Award for Living&Inclusion.
Building Chengdu as an international gateway and hub city. We are building a system of international pathways with a global vision, accelerating the construction of a network of passenger and cargo air routes that covers cities across the world, as well as seven international railway passages and five international channels for rail-sea multi-model transportation. We are expanding the corridors linking EU-Chengdu & Chongqing-Japan & ROK, as well as those connecting Chengdu & Chongqing and the ASEAN countries. The construction of a three-dimensional pathways system connecting Chengdu with the world is basically completed. Building an international logistics system with a supply chain mindset, we are making a global distribution hub for manufacturing enterprises and a regional delivery hub for pan-Asian distribution enterprises. 131 logistics enterprises above grade A have clustered. In planning the construction of an international investment and trade platform, we take the free trade zone as a carrier. We plan to build national ports such as international air and railway ports and the Belt and Road Initiative import and export commodity distribution center. Chengdu is recognized as China’s fourth aviation hub city. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport has an annual passenger throughput exceeding 50 million person-time. There has been 144-hour transit visa-free policy for foreigners and 24/7 customs clearance. 131 international (regional) passenger and cargo air routes have been opened, covering major key cities in the world. Chengdu is the third city in Chinese mainland with dual international airports following Beijing and Shanghai, and the 19th city in the world with two 4F-class airports. We are accelerating the coordinated operation of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and Chengdu Tianfu International Airport. In 2022, the two airports handled a passenger throughput of 31.092 million, ranking the first nationwide. International cargo throughput reached 231,000 tons, up 46.3% year on year. Chengdu International Railway Port Comprehensive Bonded Zone has officially started operation. In 2022, the journey of China-Europe Railway Express took less than 15 days, with a total of 5,064 trains run, up 19.2% year on year. China-Europe Railway Express (Chengdu&Chongqing), reaching over 100 European cities, has launched an cumulative amount of over 20,000 trains that secured NO.1 nationwide, with the number of journeys, the value of goods and the number of return containers all ranking 1st among China-Europe Railway Expresses in China. The Chengdu International Railway Port Economic and Technological Development Zone, a national economic and technological development zone, has obtained approval. Chengdu has been selected as a national logistics hubs (land port hub and airport hub), a national key cold chain logistics base, a national comprehensive freight hub that supplements and supports industrial chains, and a national demonstration city of supply chain innovation and application.
Building Chengdu as a world-famous cultural city. Immersed in the tranquility of nature, Chengdu is well-known for its profound history and splendid culture, boasting more than 4,500 years of civilization and more than 2,300 years of history as a city. World natural and cultural heritages such as Mount Qingcheng and Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries as well as cultural relics such as Wuhou Shrine, Du Fu Thatched Cottage and Jinsha Site, are renowned both at home and abroad. Sichuan Opera, Shu Embroidery and many other intangible cultural heritages have been passed on for thousands of years. Chengdu has been awarded as one of the Best Tourist Cities in China and Culture City of East Asia. It is also the first Capital of Gastronomy in Asia, among China’s first batch of National Demonstration Cities for Culture and Tourism Consumption, and the fourth city in Chinese mainland to launch a Michelin Guide. Adhering to the principle of nurturing the people and city with culture, Chengdu has vigorously promoted Chinese culture and the inheritance of Ba and Shu civilization, developing the Tianfu culture featuring “innovation and creativity, elegance and fashion, optimism and inclusiveness, friendliness and public spirit”. We strive to build Chengdu as a world-famous city of culture and creativity, tourism and sports, as well as an international capital of gastronomy, music, convention and exhibition. There are 172 museums in the city, ranking second in China and over 3,600 brick-and-mortar bookstores and public reading spaces, ranking first in the country. During the Spring Festival of 2023, cultural tourism consumption presented a strong rebound. The city’s A-level tourist spots received 8.371 million visits with a total ticket income of 75.314 million yuan, a year-on-year growth of 55.2% and 76.4% respectively. Internationally renowned exhibition and convention enterprises such as the Informa Group, GL Events and MCI Group have established their independent legal entities and regional headquarters in Chengdu. In 2022, the total revenue of Chengdu’s convention and exhibition industry reached 71.13 billion yuan. 715 investment projects were signed with 551.01 billion yuan worth of agreed investment. According to the 2022 Global Conference Destination Competitiveness Index, the competitiveness of Chengdu as a global conference destination ranked 3rd in the Chinese mainland, next to Beijing and Shanghai. In 2022, major sports and exhibition events such as the 2022 World Table Tennis Championships, the 2022 World Conference on Display Industry, the 106th China Food and Drinks Fair, and the 2022 Chengdu Marathon were successfully held in Chengdu. Currently, we are actively preparing for Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games, 2023 World Science Fiction Convention, 2024 Chengdu International Horticultural Exposition and 2025 World Games. Taking culture as the medium, sports games and exhibition and convention as the window, we are embracing the world with greater openness and confidence.