China’s state council has designated Chengdu as the country’s western center of logistics, commerce, finance, science and technology, as well as a hub of transportation and communication. It is also an important base for manufacturing and agriculture.
According to the World Bank’s 2007 survey report on global investment environments, Chengdu was declared a “a benchmark city for investment environment in inland China”.
Also based on a research report undertaken by the Nobel economics laureate, Dr. Robert Mundell and the celebrated Chinese economist, Li Yining, published by the State Information Center in 2010, Chengdu has become an “engine” of the Western Development Program, a benchmark city for investment environment in inland China, and a major leader in new urbanization.
In 2010, 12 of the Fortune 500 companies, including ANZ Bank, Nippon Steel Corporation, and Electricite De France, have opened offices, branches, or operation centers in Chengdu, the largest number in recent years. Meanwhile, the Fortune 500 companies that have opened offices in Chengdu, including JP Morgan Chase, Henkel, and GE, increased their investment and upgraded the involvement of their branches in Chengdu. By the end of 2010, over 200 Fortune 500 companies had set up branches in Chengdu, ranking it first in terms of the number of Fortune 500 companies in Central and Western China. Of these, 149 are foreign enterprises and 40 are domestic companies.
According to the 2010 AmCham-China white Paper on the State of American Business in China, Chengdu has become a top investment destination in China.
The main industries in Chengdu—including food, medicine, machinery, and information technology—are supported by numerous large-scale enterprises, such as Chengdu Sugar and Wine Co. Ltd., Chengdu Food Group, Sichuan Medicine Co. Ltd., Chengdu Automobile Co. Ltd. etc. Many high-tech enterprises from outside Chengdu are also beginning to settle down there.
Chengdu is becoming one of the favorite cities for investment in western China. Among the world’s 500 largest companies, 133 multinational enterprises have had subsidiaries or branch offices in Chengdu by October 2009. These MNEs include Intel, Cisco, Sony and Toyota that have assembly and manufacturing bases, as well as Motorola, Ericsson, and Microsoft that have R&D centers in Chengdu. The National Development and Reform Commission has formally approved Chengdu’s proposed establishment of a national bio-industry base there. The government of Chengdu has recently unveiled a plan to create a ¥90 billion bio pharmaceutical sector by 2012. China’s aviation industries have begun construction of a high-tech industrial park in the city that will feature space and aviation technology. The local government plans to attract overseas and domestic companies for service outsourcing and become a well-known service outsourcing base in China and worldwide.
Chengdu is part of the West Triangle Economic Zone, along with Chongqing and Xi’an.