PwC has been cooperating with the China Development Research Foundation since 2014, to select cities in China as samples for further comprehensive comparison and study. This year is the sixth year we publish Chinese Cities of Opportunity.
In total, 10 dimensions are used and altogether 50 variables are employed in the report. The indicators are “intellectual capital and innovation”, “technology maturity”, “major regional cities”, “health, safety and public security”, “transportation and urban planning”, “sustainable development and natural environment”, “culture and quality of life”, “economic clout”, “cost and ease of doing business”.
Compared with 2018, we have added Hong Kong, Macao and several other cities from the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and Hainan Province to this year’s observation list. Therefore the 38 cities of 2019 Cities of Opportunity are as follows: Harbin, Shenyang, Dalian, Urumqi, Lanzhou, Xi’an, Taiyuan, Beijing, Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Tangshan, Baoding, Jinan, Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Wuxi, Suzhou, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Hefei, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Changsha, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Guiyang, Haikou, as well as Hong Kong and Macao.
According to the study results, the top 10 cities are: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan, Xiamen and Nanjing. Beijing ranks first in the dimensions of “intellectual capital and innovation” and “economic clout”; Shanghai is at the top of “major regional cities” and Hong Kong gains the best results in “ease of doing business” and “health, safety and public security”.
Hangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan and Nanjing rank, as expected, within the top set. Xiamen’s growth, however, is of particular interest. Xiamen’s long- standing focus on the environment, the green economy, urban-rural integration and attention to market development immediately comes to mind, and its top ranking in PwC’s comprehensive measurement methodology is an objective outcome.
Most noteworthy in the comprehensive ranking is the several cities located in the Guangdong- Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. In the relevant dimensions, the Greater Bay Area rank comparatively high. The outline of the development blueprint for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area was released on 18 February by the Party Central Committee and the State Council. Chinese Cities of Opportunity 2019 indicates that, with the execution of the Belt and Road Initiative, the accelerated development of the Greater Bay Area, the further deepening of China’s reform and opening up, and the closer integration of regional economies, China’s cities will have more opportunities to develop their global economic exchanges and regional influence.