Chongqing is a major political, economic and cultural center of Central China. It is a direct-controlled municipality that encompasses an area of 82,402.95 km2 and surrounded by Guizhou Province in the south, Hubei Province in the east, Sichuan Province in the west and Shaanxi Province in the north. As a result of China's "Go West" Policy, Chongqing has become a significant trading and manufacturing hub as well as a major gateway to West China. The controversial Three Gorges Damalong the Yangtze River, completed in 2006, is intended to improve efficiency for transportation between Chongqing and coastal cities in the Yangtze River Delta.
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Source: China 2013 Statistical Yearbook (uses 2012 statistics)
Sources: Local Labor Bureau and Social Insurance Bureau (2013)
Chongqing possesses a comprehensive transportation system that not only links the east and west together but interconnects its own urban and rural areas. It is the only transport hub in west China to integrate water, land and air.
Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport is located 21 kilometers to the north of the city. There are international flights to Hong Kong, Dusseldorf, Munich, Tokyo, Nagoya, and Seoul. The airport has two terminal buildings which have the capacity to serve 1,000 passengers an hour.
Lying on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, Chongqing is the largest inland commercial port in Western China. The port can handle ships of up to 12,000 dwt depending on which of the five terminals they dock at. However, due to seasonal tides, loading and unloading can be slow at times. The Three Gorges Dam has also reduced the journey time to Shanghai as it has raised navigable water levels along the river.
Chongqing’s industrial competitiveness has been ranked sixth in China. It is estimated that information industry will become one of Chongqing’s pillar industries in the 11th Five-Year Plan. Chongqing’s GDP in 2008 reached RMB509.67 billion. The GDP growth in 2008 ranked the third in West China’s eleven provinces and ranked the fifth nationwide. The growth was mostly contributed by the industrial sector. The “One-hour Economic Circle” of Chongqing accounted for 78 percent of its total GDP. Chongqing’s used FDI saw a remarkable 152 percent increase in 2008.
Chongqing is China’s fourth largest center for motor vehicle production. The municipality is expected to turn out 2.6 million vehicles a year by 2020, an output that could account for as much as 15 percent of the national total. In 2008, it produced 780,000 vehicles, marking an annual increase of 25 percent. The industry is aiming to expand overseas and to outsource production of cars or components.
Chongqing is also one of the biggest iron and steel production centers, and an important aluminum production base. The manufacturing sector is also in good health. There are more than 10,000 factories with fixed assets of over RMB73 billion. In 2005, a number of prominent domestic appliance manufacturers, including Haier, Midea and Gless, relocated their factories from coastal provinces to Chongqing. It reportedly costs RMB100 less to produce an air-conditioning unit in Chongqing than it does in those provinces.
Chongqing is very open to FDI, FIEs and foreign trade. Global Fortune 500 companies with operations in the municipality include Danone, Carrefour, HSBC, Ericsson, Honda and Ford. Trade has also experienced significant growth. Despite the financial crisis, exports in 2008 still saw a 26.9 percent increase, though it was lower than the growth in 2007. Major export items include motorcycles, automobiles, auto parts, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products and light industrial goods. Imports increased by 29.6 percent, leaving the municipality with a trade surplus of US$1.92 billion. The private sector accounted for 40 percent of the local economy, a proportion that is expected to reach 60 percent by 2014.
Chongqing Economic and Technological Development Zone
Established in 1993, CETDZ was the first state-level development zone to be approved in southwest China. Located conveniently in Nanping, the zone covers an area of 9.6 square kilometers. It lies adjacent to the Chongqing Yangtze River Bridge in the north. The park is connected with downtown Chongqing. It is three kilometers from the Chongqing railway station, five kilometers from the Chongqing passenger wharf and 28 kilometers from Chongqing Airport.
The zone comprises five main areas, namely information industry zone, Dangui industrial zone, Huilong industrial zone, comprehensive trading block, and Nanhu and Luochangwan residential areas. Key industries in the zone include automobiles and auto parts, IT, pharmaceuticals and biochemicals. By 2006, 4,166 enterprises were operating in the zone, 410 of which were foreign invested projects totalling US$2.5 billion. The zone is encouraging further investment in high-tech industries.
Chongqing Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
The Chongqing Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone was approved by the State Council in 1991 and contains a 12 square-kilometer area of industrial parks. The zone is designed for high-tech and other modern industries, but so far, most of the companies have specialized in just two areas, namely electronic information products and auto components manufacturing. There are nearly 4,000 companies with operations in the zone of which 200 are high-tech enterprises and 300 are FIEs. Investment has mainly streamed in from Japan, the United States, Germany, France, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. U.S.-based UTStarcom, the largest supplier of local loop equipment in China, has a US$25 million plant in the HTDZ, which is capable of manufacturing one million personal access system handsets annually. The Nasdaq-listed company also plans to invest up to US$72 million in R&D in Chongqing and to expand its production to include broadband access equipment and 3G mobile systems.
Although the port is capable of handling ships of up to 10,000 dwt, the vast majority of containers and freight make their way by barge due to shipping conditions and seasonal tides. Consequently, the majority of terminals can only accommodate 6,000-8,000 dwt ships. Containers travelling the length of the river to or from Shanghai take around 10 days to complete the journey, although the trip can be made in as little as four days in ideal circumstances. However, the back flow of water – the result of the Three Gorges Dam project – is expected to reach Chongqing in 2009, resulting in larger ships frequenting the port more often.