Economic and Financial Strength

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Beijing stands as the political, cultural and economic center of China, and is one of the country's most dynamic and competitive regions. Beijing is transforming into a global metropolis, and ranks 17th on PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) 2012 Cities of Opportunity list, which covers the world's 27 major cities, including New York, Paris and London. Beijing was also ranked No. 1 in terms of economic clout.

Benefits from Regional Development

Beijing is a large recipient of regional development strategies, and is the center of the Bohai Economic Rim, an economic zone that encompasses Beijing, Tianjin, Heibi and the Shandong Peninsula, Shanxi and parts of Inner Mongolia. Beijing's geographical advantages include rich natural resources and a close proximity to both land and overseas shipping routes.

Overall Economic Strengths

Beijing is fortunate to have a solid industrial base and strong economic fundamentals. Beijing's local economy has maintained an enviable growth rate for many years, and has made smart investments into industry and innovation. The city's gross domestic product (GDP) was 1.6 trillion yuan (US$247.7 billion) in 2011, ranking 13th nationally, a 15.2 percent increase over the previous year. The figure exceeded that of Finland in 2010 at US$238.8 billion, which ranked 34th in the world, according to World Bank figures. The city's financial revenue in 2011 stood at 435.9 billion yuan (US$69.2 billion), a 14.4 percent year-on-year increase.

Beijing's primary industries contributed 13.6 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) to regional GDP growth, secondary industries added 375.3 billion yuan (US$59.6 billion) and tertiary industries added an additional 1.2 trillion yuan(US$190.5 billion). Tertiary industries account for more than 70 percent of municipal GDP, with the strategically-important financial sector playing a key role in boosting economic growth.

The city is pursuing financial, information, S&T, transportation and logistical upgrades in high-value areas such as electronics, automotive, optical-electromechanical integration, biological engineering, bio-medicine, new energies and environmental protection equipment.

Beijing's advanced high-tech manufacturing base generated a total industrial value of 290.5 billion yuan (US$46.1 billion) in 2011, and accounts for 20 percent the city's total above-scale industry (corporations with an annual main business revenue of 20 million yuan (US$3.2 million) or more) output, with overall profits of 22.9 billion yuan (US$3.6 billion).

Beijing's GDP per capita rose from 73,856 yuan (US$11,723) in 2010, to 81,658 yuan (US$12,962) in 2011, ranking 3rd in the country. According to World Bank ranking criteria, Beijing's per capita income is on par with high-income countries overseas.

In 2011, social fixed-asset investments totaled 591.1 billion yuan (US$93.8 billion), a 7.6 percent increase. Investments into real estate rose 10.1 percent to 303.6 billion yuan (US$48.2 billion), and retail sales were valued at 613.4 billion yuan (US$97.4 billion), up 7.8 percent over the previous year. The value of imports and exports reached US$389.6 billion, a 29.1 percent increase, of which US$59 billion came from exports, an increase of 6.5 percent.

Superior Financial Strengths

Beijing is one of China's most important financial and commercial hubs. Beijing's financial sector, the flagship of its tertiary industry, has undergone rapid development in recent years. At present, the city holds about 60 percent of the country's financial assets, more than 40 percent of financial clearances business, 60 percent of the total equity of listed companies and 60 percent of bond market financing.

Beijing also plays a significant role in the decision-making and adjustment of the country's financial guidelines and policies. Financial Street in Xicheng District, known as the most influential financial center nationwide, is home to the state's financial regulatory authorities, including the headquarters of China's central bank-The People's Bank of China (PBC), and more than 160 Chinese and foreign financial institutions. It's also home to more than 1,600 large-scale enterprises.

Beijing has proven itself a great magnet for international capital and financial institutions. The city's Chaoyang District, where the Central Business District (CBD) is located, has 277 foreign-invested financial institutions, accounting for 65 percent of the city's total. By the end of 2011, the number of foreign capital banks in Beijing reached 94, with total assets of 291.1 billion yuan (US$46.2 billion).

Beijing is also a base for many large-scale state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and various industrial associations. 44 of the 79 Chinese companies listed on Fortune's World 500 in 2012 are based in Beijing, and account for 56 percent of the nation's total.

In 2011, Beijing's financial industry raked in 205.5 billion yuan (US$32.6 billion) in value-added sectors, accounting for 12.8 percent of the city's GDP, with 45.7 percent coming from Financial Street-based institutions. The city's cross-border trade settlements in yuan reached 402.7 billion yuan (US$63.9 billion). Beijing had more than 600 financial institutions operating as independent legal entities in 2011, ranking first in China, with a 4.4 percent increase over the previous year. In 2011, Beijing's total deposit balance in RMB and foreign currency of financial institutions (including foreign-invested ones) reached 7.5 trillion yuan (US$1.2 trillion), a 12.6 percent increase, while the loans balance totaled 4 trillion yuan (US$ 634.9 billion). Insurance premiums and stock transactions reported during the year were 82.1 billion yuan (US$13 billion) and 7.9 trillion yuan (US$1.3 trillion), respectively.

The city is rapidly being developed into a major financial center with a significant global influence.

Foreign Investment, Multinationals and Headquarter Economy

Beijing is able to draw in great deals of foreign investment, which has greatly assisted economic development. Contracted foreign capital reached US$11.3 billion in 2011, an increase of 33.1 percent, and foreign capital increased 10.9 to reach US$7.1 billion. In the same year, Beijing had 25,672 foreign-invested companies, a 3.3 percent increase, and registered capital rose 12.4 percent to US$80.3 billion. Beijing is also the headquarters for 13,792 overseas enterprises.

Hundreds of world-famous multinational corporations have invested in Beijing, and most of these companies are enjoying high profits. By the end of June, 2012, multinationals had opened 639 offices and R&D centers in the city, and a total of 279 Fortune's World 500 had invested in 637 projects locally.

Beijing has also accelerated its headquarters economy development. By the end of 2011, a total of 112 multinational corporations had set up regional headquarters within the city limits, with 30 offices in 2011 alone, an all-time record. As of 2011, Beijing was home to 198 foreign-funded investment companies and 404 R&D centers, an increase of 15 and 31 over 2010, respectively.

The city has 3 state-level and 16 municipal-level development zones, with different industrial functions to suit the needs of overseas investors. State-level zones include Zhongguancun Science Park (ZSP), Beijing Economic and Technology Development Area (BDA) and Beijing Tianzhu Free Trade Zone. These development zones are now home to many foreign-invested companies.

Tourism, Conference and Exhibition Industry

Beijing, a city with abundant tourism resources, is also a strong power in the national tourism industry. In 2011, the city, a top destination for tourists at home and abroad, received a total of 214 million tourists, of which 5.2 million are from overseas, a 6.2 percent increase over the previous year. The city's tourism industry reported US$5.4 billion in foreign exchange revenue, an 8 percent increase over 2010.

The advantages of tourism resources, state-of-the-art infrastructure and high-quality support services have also helped Beijing become an important destination for conferences and exhibitions in China and throughout the world. According to a 2012 report published by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Beijing ranked as the 10th busiest city in the world for international conferences in 2011, hosting a total of 111 qualified international conferences in that year. It ranked first in China and second in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Beijing has nearly 20 major venues for conferences and exhibitions, with a total exhibition space of more than 676,000 square meters. Some of the best known exhibition venues include the New China International Exhibition Center, China International Exhibition Centre, China National Convention Center, Beijing Jiuhua International Exhibition Center, China International Trade Centre, Beijing International Convention Centre and Beijing Exhibition Centre.

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