By Li Xinyi, Editor
Being the most important city in Southwest China, Chongqing enjoys numerous advantages in attracting foreign investment, including its location, policies, financial and educational supports, and the cost.
As located at the geometrical center of China, Chongqing has become a transportation hub on the upper reaches of Yangtze River. Chongqing extends its highway in all directions; Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, one of the top ten airports in China, and the largest port on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River are both located in Chongqing. The completed Three Gorges Project improves the navigation capacity. Through the golden waterway, Chongqing is directly linked to the rivers and seas.
In 2011, China Railway Express (Chongqing) to Europe was officially put into use. Starting from Chongqing via Xinjiang, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, and finally reaching Duisburg in Germany, the total length of the railway is 11,179 km. The whole trip takes only 13 days (20 days shorter than traveling by sea). China Railway Express (Chongqing) to Europe has become the backbone of the China railway in 2018. Its value of international container transit accounts for more than 80% of the international cargo transport at Alataw Pass.
By 2017, the added value of transportation, warehousing, and postal industries reached RMB 93.95 billion, with an increase of 8.7%, which accounted for 4.8% of the Chongqing’s GDP. The total mileage of highway in Chongqing is 3,023 kilometers. The railway operating mileage reached 2,371 kilometers. The rail transit mileage is 264 kilometers, and the average daily passenger traffic is 2.036 million. The annual cargo transportation was 1.153 billion tons, with an increase of 7.0%; the passenger transportation volume was 633 million, with a decrease of 0.6%.
Chongqing enjoys not only the general preferential policies from central government but also favorable policies for Western Region Development and Three Gorges Reservoir Area. As one of the four municipalities directly under the central government, Chongqing has less administrative procedures that lead to higher efficiency. In recent years, Chongqing has been empowered to carry out a series of pilot programs, including diversified national trade, integrated cross-border e-commerce, processing trade transferring, innovation and development of service trade in Liangjiang New Area, new open economy in Liangjiang New Area, national independent innovation in High-tech District and the “single window” program (streamlining administrative formalities for foreign trade). All these measures have injected new impetuses into this city.
As a national key city, Chongqing inevitably boasts leading, radiating, and distributing functions in political, economic, cultural and other perspectives nationwide. In 2017, Chongqing had an administrative area of 82,400 square kilometers, with a population of 33.90 million. It has a vast local market, and a strong radiation capacity to the surrounding provinces and cities, covering a peripheral market of 300 million people. It also has a dual economic structure featuring a large city and a large rural area, which allows Chongqing to be equipped with modern industries and services, as well as productive agriculture. In 2017, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached RMB 806.77 billion, with an increase of 11.0%.
“Western China International Fair For Investment and Trade” and “Smart China Expo” have become national- level exhibitions. In 2017, 496 exhibitions were held, with a total exhibition area of 8.77 million square meters. Chongqing International Expo Center has a construction area of 600,000 square meters, ranking second in China.
As the largest key city and industrial and commercial center in western China, the permanent resident population in Chongqing was 30.75 million, and the comprehensive life services are completed. Chongqing has a total of 19,682 medical and healthcare institutions at all levels, with 190,500 healthcare personnel providing strong medical services.
Chongqing also has over 400 various types of wholesale markets, and its modern business facilities rank No. 1 in western China. In addition, it has a convenient and efficient inspection and quarantine systems of goods import and export to ensure the customs clearance being efficient.
In 2017, the added value of the financial sector reached RMB 181.37 billion, with an increase of 8.1% , which accounted for 9.3% of Chongqing’s GDP, ranking top in China. In addition, Chongqing has industry- oriented investment funds of RMB 80 billion to promote the optimization and upgrading of industrial structure and innovation of enterprises in Chongqing.
In 2017, Chongqing has 65 colleges and universities with about 925,000 students and about 267,400 graduates. There are 182 secondary vocational schools with about 400,300 students and a graduate population of about 125,000. Chongqing is an important talent supply base in western China. The 2017 annual research and development expenditures were about RMB 35 billion, which accounted for 1.79% of Chongqing’s GDP. There are 148 key laboratories at the municipal level and above, 527 engineering technology research centers, and 164 enterprise engineering technology research centers.
Chongqing strives to build itself as a strong intellectual property city (owns intellectual property rights bureau and other relevant government departments). It owns intellectual property rights service platforms such as patent cloud, copyright cloud, information center, complaint service center, rights assistance center, forensic center, and intellectual property arbitration court and is able to provide a full range of intellectual property services. In 2017, 65,000 patent applications were accepted and 35,000 patents were granted.
Chongqing is an inland energy highland and is actively accelerating its energy structural adjustment. To have reasonable control over the industrial energy consumption, it is strengthening energy conservation, developing and utilizing nuclear power, wind, solar, biomass and other new energy, and also accelerating the exploration and development of shale gas, which enables itself to provide strong energy security for its economic development.
In 2017, the Chongqing Economic Information Commission ensured the safe operation and the reliable supply of electricity by strengthening the management of power balance plan and refining the operation and dispatch of power production and supply, ensuring the demand for electricity in Chongqing economic and social development. The total energy consumption in 2017 increased by 3.71%. The energy consumption per RMB 10,000 of GDP fell by 5.12%.
Based on the current standards, land transferring fees in Chongqing are far lower than those in coastal developed areas. Compared with Chengdu, the fees are still slightly lower. Therefore the cost advantage of Chongqing is obvious.
Chongqing boasts abundant water, electricity and gas resources. Compared with Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and other eastern coastal cities, Chongqing has lower prices and more stable supply.
Chongqing is a labor-exporting region, where local labor costs are generally lower than those of cities such as Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi’an, and Wuhan.
In addition, Chongqing has price advantages in tax, logistics, finance, and other cost areas. National treatment and management under negative list mode were introduced and granted to foreign investment.
source: Chongqing Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment