GUIYANG, THE CAPITAL city of Guizhou province, has been identified as China’s top emerging city, according to a special report released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The EIU’s emerging city rankings are determined by growth indicators, notably population, income, infrastructure and GDP. These fast-growing cities offer excellent investment opportunities in a wide variety of industries.
Guiyang won the top spot by virtue of its expanded transport links including the construction in 2014 of a high-speed rail service to Guangzhou and plans to create express rail links with Chengdu and Chongqing. By building links with such major cities, Guiyang is rapidly increasing its potential for exports and industrialisation.
Guiyang has also differentiated itself from other second-tier cities by establishing itself as the ‘big data capital’. Both state-owned and private telecoms companies are looking to invest in the city, partly due to the competitively low power costs.
Second in the rankings is Xiangyang in Hubei province. Much of Xiangyang’s appeal lies in its location, situated as it is between Hubei, Henan, Shaanxi and Sichuan. Similarly to Guiyang, plans are in place to improve Xiangyang’s rail connections by including the city in a high-speed train link between Wuhan and Xi’an. Xiangyang has a plentiful supply of labour and infrastructure, and is well supported by the government. Automotive, manufacturing, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals and chemicals are the most prevalent industries in Xiangyang.
After Guiyang and Xiangyang, the highest ranking cities are Hengyang, Chongqing, Suqian, Huainan, Huaibei, Zhuzhou and Zhengzhou. The potential impact of these cities in coming years should not be underestimated. The top 20 cities are estimated to reach a combined population of around 50m by 2019, rendering them as markets large enough to have a significant national and global influence.