Chengdu: The New Land of Opportunity
“Why Chengdu?” is the question most people will ask when you mention you’re interning in China. Hardly the first city that comes to mind, most would wonder why you aren’t in Shanghai and Beijing, China’s press darlings that receive most international attention.
As China continues to grow at a blistering pace in its 4thdecade of consistent economic growth, the Chinese urban landscape has begun to change. While Beijing and Shanghai once represented the nexus of business and economic development for the country, opportunities have begun to spread beyond the East coast corridor further inland, resulting in a role reversal between the periphery of Western China and the once dominant metropoles of Shanghai/Beijing. Chengdu now is one of China’s fastest growing cities and is the center of the government’s push to branch development beyond the coast.
Destined to become both the Motor City and Silicon Valley of China, Chengdu’s growth trajectory over the past decade has been beyond phenomenal. With over 14 million people (projected to be around 20 million by 2020), Chengdu currently is China’s 4th largest city. Conveniently located in between Western China and Eastern China, the city is now home to a mix of manufacturing, IT, and finance while simultaneously acting as the primary hub for businesses trying to expand westward to gain further access to China’s untapped markets. Chengdu is now home to over three hundred of the Fortune 500 companies, ranging from automobile giants in Toyota and Volkswagen to global manufacturers in GE and Foxconn Technology Group. While the average growth rate for China as a whole has roughly been between 7-10%, Chengdu’s GDP has expanded by 15% on an annual basis in recent times, making it one of the most exciting cities in the country labelled as the new “land of opportunity”. With seemingly limitless business prospects, the question has become why aren’t you in Chengdu!