Dec. 13 (NBD) -- The 2nd Plenary Session of 13th CPC Chengdu Municipal Committee convened from December 9 to 11.
The Session proposed that southwest China's Chengdu and Chongqing should forge collaborative development, build a national city cluster with global competitiveness and finally lift the city cluster to a world-class level.
To fulfill the target, Chengdu aims to develop into a global city through a three-step approach.
Under the scheme, the capital city will endeavor to achieve the goal of moderate prosperity and turn itself into a national central city embodying the new development concepts by 2020, then grow into an international hub city that has a high level of livability and significant influence in pan-European and pan-Asian regions by 2035, and finally evolve into a modern, sustainable global city by the middle of this century.
A world-class city cluster needs to be created in western China
Chen Yao, vice chairman and secretary-general of the China Association of Regional Economies, identified with the scheme in an exclusive interview with NBD, saying that western China needs a world-class city cluster which calls for world-class core cities.
Chen further explained that to build western China's city cluster with Chengdu and Chongqing as the core cities into a world-class one should grasp the opportunities brought by enhancing export-oriented and endogenous economic growth and strengthening ability of accepting shifted industry.
The Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region have already proposed to create world city clusters. The western region of China finds it more necessary to build a city cluster as the economic development drive, considering that the region takes up 70 percent of China's land, 18 percent of total population and 20 percent of the national economic aggregate.
Chen believed that it would either be a waste or go against concentration of population and industries, efficient resource utilization and better environmental protection if no effort has been made to build a city cluster by applying such favorable conditions.
To Chen, creating a world-class city cluster in western China is of great significance to change China's regional economic landscape.
More city clusters are needed to advance the great cause of developing China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful by the middle the 21th century, added Chen.
Global resource and impact make a world-class city cluster
The more export-oriented a city is, the more influential it becomes and the more global production factors it can bring in.
The Chengdu-Chongqing city cluster has witnessed a rise in its international influence.
Chengdu now is home to over 280 Fortune 500 companies, which makes evident that the city is alluring to international talents and capital.
The report at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China stipulated that China’s economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development.
Chen noted that to build the world-class city cluster should also emphasize quality development as well as opening-up.
The above-mentioned report also stated the significance of promoting the opening of the western region, which is the key to the construction of the city cluster in this region, Chen commented.
In Chen's opinion, the Chengdu-Chongqing city cluster should create an international financial center to draw enterprises to control global economic resources, which will increase its competiveness and influence in the international arena.
Chen regarded local cultural characteristics as a tool to enhance the international impact of the Chengdu-Chongqing city cluster, citing Sichuan cuisine as an example.
Chen emphasized the decisive role which core cities play in the development level and quality of a city cluster.
Chengdu and Chongqing, as the core cities, should shoulder the role as the source of innovation, and lead in major scientific innovations so as to drive the development of neighboring cities via the commercialization of research findings, Chen added.
The construction of the city cluster should embrace the opportunities under the BRI
Chen told NBD that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) shortens the distance between China's western region and international markets, especially central markets in Europe and Asia through bridging Asia, Africa and Europe.
The narrowing distance allows western China to access global factors and resources more easily, creating the possibility for the processing trade, service trade and high-tech industries which could be hardly developed in the past, Chen explained.
This paves the way for the region to achieve a historical leap, noted Chen.
He pointed out that the region should deepen the interconnection with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to expand markets and to make the best of the advantageous resources in the region.
Equal emphasis should be given to "going global" and "bring in".
Chen suggested that enterprises in western China be encouraged to go out by building plants abroad or overseas mergers and acquisitions.
The international competitiveness and impact of a city cluster is achieved by every single company making concerted efforts, Chen added.