Beijing’s central business district (CBD) was ranked first in terms of comprehensive development among all such areas across China, according to a report released Thursday. It is followed by the CBDs in Shanghai and Guangzhou.
The report was jointly published by the Capital University of Economics and Business and the Social Sciences Academic Press, and was compiled by the Central Business District Development Research Center of the Capital University of Economics and Business. Based on a pervious ranking of the most commercially attractive cities in China, the new report selected four first-tier cities, 10 emerging new first-tier cities, and a second-tier city, and carried out a comprehensive review of the development of the CBDs in these 15 cities for the 2014-16 period.
Beijing ranks first overall, Shenzhen ranks first in tax contribution
According to the size of the city where the CBD is located, the sample selected for this research is divided into three groups: the first group includes Beijing CBD (located in Chaoyang district), Shanghai CBD (located in Pudong New district), Guangzhou CBD (located in Tianhe district), Shenzhen CBD (located in Futian district), and Tianjin CBD (located in Binhai New district); the second group includes Wuhan CBD (located in Jianghan district), Hangzhou CBD (located in Xiacheng district), Chengdu CBD (located in Jinjiang district) ), Nanjing CBD (located in Jianye district), and Chongqing CBD (located in Yuzhong district); the third group includes Xi’an CBD (located in Beilin district), Fuzhou CBD (located in Gulou district), Changsha CBD (located in Furong district), and Shenyang CBD (located in Shenhe district).
The research report constructs an evaluation system for the 15 CBDs selected, and assesses the comprehensive development index of these CBDs using scales such as economic development, economic dynamics, scientific and technological innovation, social development, and the district as a regional hub. Specific performance indicators include GDP, population density, total foreign trade volume, number of patents, and number of college and university students.
According to the research, throughout the 2014–16 period, Beijing CBD and Shanghai CBD occupied the first and second place in the first group, while Wuhan CBD and Hangzhou CBD placed sixth and seventh respectively to lead the second group. In the third group, Xi’an CBD was outstanding and it ranked 10th nationwide in 2016.
The driving force that contributed to the comprehensive development index were different across the CBDs, the report says. Scientific and technological innovation was the main factor for the comprehensive development of Beijing CBD and Shenzhen CBD; Shanghai CBD and Guangzhou CBD stood out because they were the regional hubs; and economic development played the most important supporting role in the comprehensive development of Tianjin CBD.
In terms of contribution to city finance, Shenzhen CBD led the board with a tax contribution of 111.1 billion yuan (about US$16 billion), and was followed by Shanghai CBD and Beijing CBD at second and third place, respectively.
Focus shift from quantity to quality
According to the report, after more than 20 years of planning and development, Beijing CBD has achieved a comprehensive development level that would take CBDs in foreign countries 30 to 40 years to reach. At present, Beijing CBD is gradually defining its industry positioning on the national and international scope—a development base for the headquarter economy while leading in areas such as high-end business, international finance, and the cultural media industry.
The report says there is still a significant gap between Beijing CBD and the world’s leading CBDs. As the overall economic volume reaches a certain level and continues to develop, the report suggests that Beijing CBD should focus its work on economic restructuring and industrial upgrading, and promote regional industries to high-end and intensive mode of development.
More specifically, the report suggests the Chinese capital to make efforts to build an economic structure that features high-end industries, to improve living environment and optimize business environment, and to promote urban renewal and rail transit construction in the CBD area. In addition, Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei should take advantage of the industrial restructuring in the area to encourage more intercity project cooperation, to promote regional brand building, and to participate more in the international arena.