A recent survey conducted by Companies.Asia Group has identified the top 20 new cities in China with the most potential for starting a business. These 20 selected cities were ranked based on information gathered from interviews of business managers, entrepreneurs, both foreign and Chinese, working in China, as well as data from independent sources regarding the costs of doing business, the local talent pool, and the overall general business environment of these cities. Here are the top three:
No.1 SUZHOU (population of 6.3 million; located in the province of Jiangsu)
Suzhou became a foreign investment center in the 1980s and now has the 5th largest local GDP in China, at $113.4 billion (GDP per capita is $17,169). It is the 2nd largest factory town after Shanghai.
By the end of 2007, foreign-invested companies in Suzhou had a total registered capital worth of US$13 billion, and the city’s Hi Tech Industrial Zone now hosts more than 1,500 foreign companies. Nike, Samsung, and Epson all have factories and offices here. Suzhou is currently evolving into a center for biotechnology and alternative energy.
No.2 SHENZHEN (population of 8.9 million; in the province of Guangdong)
As a small town in close proximity to Hong Kong, Shenzhen began as China’s first Special Economic Zone in 1978. Now it has the highest local GDP at US$120.1 billion (GDP per capita at $13,580) in the nation.
Being southern China’s major financial centre, Shenzhen is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies. Shenzhen is also the third busiest container port in China, ranking only after Shanghai and Hong Kong.
A thriving real estate market and a sophisticated financial services sector are putting Shenzhen on course to be the next mega city.
No.3 QINGDAO (population of 8.5 million; Province of Shandong)
Its close proximity to Japan and Korea, and its roots as a former German colony made this city a destination for foreign investments since the late 1970s. By 2009, due to extensive investments from Korea, more than 100,000 Koreans were working or studying in Qingdao, making it the 2nd largest Korean population (after Beijing) in China. Today Qingdao, also known as Tsingtao, is a premier tourist attraction and home of the famous Tsingtao Brewery.
Qingdao’s port will open the world’s largest iron ore terminal by late 2010 and the city plans to invest close to US$4.3 billion on downtown subway construction to be completed before 2016. Global Fortune 500 companies have invested in over 50 large-scale projects in the Economic and Technical Development Zone, and more than 2000 projects have been approved for the Free Trade Zone. Qingdao’s GDP has surpassed US$66.7 billion with a GDP per capita at US$7,948.
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