Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, is a sub-provincial level city and one of China’s national central cities, southwestern China’s center of economy, technology, cultural and creative industries, and international exchange, as well as the integrated hub of transportation. Governing 20 districts (county-level cities or counties), High-tech Industrial Development Zone and Tianfu New Area, Chengdu covers an area of 14,300 km2 and has a resident population of over 16 million. Founded over 2300 years ago, Chengdu is honored as “A Paradise on Earth” and home to several world natural and cultural heritages such as Mount Qingcheng, Dujiangyan Irrigation System, and Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Base, and boasting 38 national scenic sites rated 4A or above, such as Wuhou Temple, Dufu's Thatched Cottage, and the Jinsha Relics. As one of the first batch of cities famous for its long history and profound culture, Chengdu is also China’s Best Tourist Destination.
As an essential economic center of western China, Chengdu quickly makes adjustment to the new normal conditions and leads China’s west with its economic strength being substantially boosted. In the first half of 2016, the Gross Regional Product of Chengdu stood at RMB 559.02 billion, ranking the third among all sub-provincial cities. Thanks to Chengdu Manufacturing 2025 Plan, at present, Chengdu is already home to four industrial clusters worth of RMB 100 billion, namely, electronic information, automobile, machinery and food as well as two industrial parks worth of RMB 100 billion, namely, Chengdu High-tech Industrial Development Zone and Chengdu Economic Development Zone. In 2015, Chengdu’s high-tech industrial output exceeded RMB 780 billion. According to the Chengdu Manufacturing 2025 Plan, Chengdu is committed to transforming itself into an important national center of advanced manufacturing, the financial center of western China, a world tourism destination, an international paradise for shopping, a world-class hub for exhibition and convention as well as a city of gastronomy by 2025. In 2015, added value of financial industry of Chengdu stood at RMB 125.42 billion and its industrial comprehensive competitiveness is topping central and western China. Visitors to Chengdu reached 191 million person-time, total tourism revenue hit RMB 204.019 billion. Chengdu is committed to building itself into a core city for national services by 2025.
As a national renowned city for innovation and venture, Chengdu is implementing the 2025 Plan for Building Innovative City and Growth Driven by Innovation initiative. Through creating innovation and entrepreneurship platform such as Chengdu Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair, 210 relevant events have been launched, 210 carriers for innovation and entrepreneurship (17 are of national level) have been founded, and a number of financial supporting foundations worth over 10 billion have been set up. Being chosen as the demonstration city of innovation and entrepreneurship for micro and small sized enterprises in China, Chengdu was also rated by Fortune magazine as one of the Top 10 Cities to start up business in China in 2015. Chengdu is committed to building itself into a national innovative city and a regional innovation and entrepreneurship center with an international influence by 2025.
Chengdu is the hub of transportation and a national gateway for opening-up. To propel its all-round opening-up and foreign exchange, the city is further implementing its 2025 Plan to Become an International City driven by its free trade area establishment and its Chengdu-Europe+ strategy. The city has established commercial connections with 228 nations/regions around the world, set up industrial parks in the city jointly with South Korea, Germany, France, Cuba, and Singapore. Its deepened implementation of “Chengdu-Europe Plus” strategy and the accelerated construction of its international airport and railway port have continuously expanded its land and air transportation networks both internationally and domestically. By June 2016, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport offers 91 international air routes connecting Chengdu with 76 international and regional cities including the likes of Paris, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt, Doha, and San Francisco. Chengdu is also the fourth 72-hour Visa-Free City in China. Sixteen countries, namely the United States, Germany, South Korea, France, Thailand, Singapore, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, Czech Republic, India and Switzerland, have been approved to set up consulates here, and 32 provinces or cities of France, Austria, Japan, the US, Canada, Slovenia, Italy, South Korea, Indonesia, Sweden, Germany, the UK, Russia, Belgium, Australia, Thailand, Denmark, Israel, India and Brazil have signed sister city agreements with Chengdu and another 39 cities have become “friendly cooperation cities” of Chengdu. Since the turn of the millennium, Chengdu has become a member of the League of Historical Cities, World Technopolis Association, Pacific Asia Travel Association, World Organization of United Cities and Local Governments and World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments. Currently, a growing number of foreign banks including Standard and Chartered from the UK, Citi Bank from the US, BNP Paris from France, ABN from the Netherlands, United Overseas Bank from Singapore, Bank of East Asia from Hong Kong, Woori Bank from South Korea, ANZ Bank from Australia as well as world renowned companies such as Intel, Motorola, Toyota, Ericsson, Nokia, IBM, Bayer, Kobe Steel, Maersk, Texas Instrument, Dell, Lenovo, SK Group, Foxconn, Compal, Wistron, Wal-Mart, Carrefour, Ito-Yokado, Metro Group, Ikea and other global retailers have set up operations in Chengdu. At present, a total of 278 enterprises of the Fortune Global 500 have built presence in the city. It is a successful host city of the Fortune Global Forum and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, and listed as one of the Best Emerging Cities for Business by Fortune. It was also named as Benchmark City for Investment Environment in Inland China by the World Bank. With an urban green coverage of 39.85% and a per capita public green space of 14.59 square meters, the city is titled a National Ecological Civilization Demonstration Plot, and reported by the Asian Development Bank as China’s most livable city.