According to a general plan published by the China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Chengdu, first positioned as a national major city in China, will strengthen its functions as western China's center of economy, science & technology, cultural creativity & innovation, and international exchange, as well as comprehensive traffic hub.
The city thus became the sixth one in the country to be shaped as a national major city in China, following Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Chongqing.
On September 11, the Chengdu city government convened an important meeting, which made it clear that to become a national major city is one of the city's development goals at present and in the years to come, and the city will quicken its pace to become western China's center of economy, science & technology, cultural creativity & innovation, and international exchange, as well as comprehensive traffic hub.
Economic Center in Western China
Chengdu's GDP exceeded RMB1 trillion in 2014, and RMB1.08 trillion in 2015, ranking ninth among all cities in the Chinese mainland. In this year's first half, the number hit RMB559.02 billion, increasing by 7.5% year on year and 0.8% higher than the national average. From January to July, 10 more Fortune Global 500 companies established business presence in the city, which, so far, has been home to 278 such companies.
Science & Technology Center in Western China
As a key pilot city for China's national comprehensive innovation reform program, Chengdu, taking full advantage of its strengths in human resources and R & D, is attracting more and more world-class universities, scientific research institutions, hi-tech incubators, domestic and foreign top professionals. It will accelerate its path to integrate into the global innovation system, by vigorously advancing innovation-driven reform and construct regional innovation & entrepreneurship centers with international influence.
Cultural Creativity & Innovation Center in Western China
Chengdu has the largest number of private museums in the country, with one for every 97, 000 people on average. Hailed as the City of Museum in China, Chengdu has ample historical and natural legacies and heritages, such as the ancient Shu Culture, the giant panda, the Three Kingdoms Culture, the Jinsha Culture, Sichuan Opera, Sichuan cuisine and Shu Embroidery & Brocade. The city, with strong cultural diversity and inclusiveness, is doing its best to be a world renowned cultural city.
International Exchange Centre in Western China
While actively involving in the national Road and Belt Initiative and doing its outmost to become one of China's forefronts to open up to the outside world, Chengdu has by now established a sister-city relationship with 31 cities around the world, and has hosted many international events, including the Fortune Global Forum 2013, the third 2016 G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, and the World Routes 2016.
For the time being, Chengdu is further strengthening its function as a regional traffic hub. By the end of August, it had launched air link to 199 cities across the globe, including 74 overseas, and opened 258 routes including 89 international/regional ones. So far, the city's international air traffic network has covered most transport hubs in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Oceania, and Asia. Upon the completion of the Chengdu Tianfu International Airport, Chengdu will be the third Chinese city to have two airports. Many domestic and foreign large-scale logistics giants have set up their regional centers in Chengdu, including Global Logistic Properties (GLP), Amazon, and S.F. Express. The Chengdu-Europe express rail cargo service will see a total of 400 journeys by this year's end and 1,000 next year.