he Hong Kong-based China Institute of City Competitiveness (CICC) published its annual rankings of Chinese city competitiveness on January 3, with Shanghai staying on top, followed by Hong Kong, Shenzhen and the capital Beijing.
The CICC has released the annual ranking since 2002, based on what they say is their thorough study of 358 Chinese cities, comprehensively judging their economic, social, environmental and cultural resources and their distribution of international resources.
As China’s economic and financial center, Shanghai has been ranked as the most competitive Chinese city for four consecutive years. In the first half of 2016, Shanghai’s gross GDP surpassed that of Beijing, topping the capital by over 150 billion yuan (US$21.7bn).
Though it is maintaining stable economic growth, Hong Kong, according to the CICC’s director Gui Qiangfang, is encumbered by growing internal friction, although its geographical position and transport links have played a big role in its economic development.
Gui, however, is optimistic about Shenzhen’s future. He told Xinhua News Agency that despite the global economic slowdown, Shenzhen has reaped the fruits of innovation, green industrial upgrading and structural adjustment, which helped bring up its GDP growth rate to 8.7 percent. According to Gui, Shenzhen topped the listings in terms of the city’s growth potential and comprehensive economic competitiveness.
Given that flooding has increasingly become a chronic problem for cities, the CICC this year took particular note of a city’s drainage density as part of the criteria for judging how livable it is. Hong Kong topped this field, and Beijing dropped out of the top 10.
As for sustainable competitiveness, the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the area around the Bohai Sea represented by Hong Kong and Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hangzhou (capital of Zhejiang Province), and Beijing, still take the lead. Furthermore, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Beijing topped the list of cities with the biggest deposit balances per capita.
In addition to ranking Chinese cities, the CICC also released its rankings of the competitiveness of global economies, with the US, China and Japan listed as the top three.