Chongqing celebrates ten years as a municipality

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On Monday, Chongqing celebrated the tenth anniversary of the its establishment as a municipality. Approved on March 18, 1997, the city became China’s fourth centrally-administered municipality after Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

Chongqing has been called “the megalopolis you’ve never heard of,” which is probably true for most people outside China. Designated a municipality in 1997, the area was brought under direct control of Beijing to spearhead and manage the Three Gorges Dam project. Its population of 31 million make it the world’s largest city by some definitions, although the metropolitan area has only about 12 million people – expected to rise to 20 million in 10 years. Located in a rugged valley and bisected by the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers, it has for centuries been a strategically important city for trade in and out of China.

Chongqing GDP and growth statistics:

Key industries and sectors:

  • One of the oldest industrial bases in China with three mainstay industries: automobiles and motorbikes, chemicals (esp. natural gas chemistry and pharmaceuticals), and metallurgy
  • The municipality is one of the biggest iron and steel production centers, and one of the top three major aluminum production bases in the country. It produces more than 120 kinds of steel products and 13,000 specifications of aluminum goods
  • Chongqing is an important production base for commodity grain, pork, silkworm cocoons, oranges, tangerines and leaf tobacco
  • There are almost 10,000 factories with fixed assets of over RMB73 billion

Foreign investment

  • The Chongqing municipal government has encouraged foreign investment in key projects pertaining to upgrading of old enterprises, high-tech industries, and development of the tertiary sector. These efforts include export promotion, the development of infrastructure, finance, tourism, education and land development
  • Projects involving high energy consumption, heavy pollution, high transportation cost, heavy industrial activities and hotel development are restricted to foreign investors
  • The service sector accounted for a significant percentage of the total contracted foreign investment in 2006. Areas that attracted the largest share of foreign investment included real estate, wholesale and retail trade, tenancy, commercial services