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HK, Taipei lead in competitiveness|
By Zhao Huanxin (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-21 06:22
Hong Kong, Macao and five Taiwan cities beat most of their mainland counterparts to join the leaders' pack of China's most competitive cities.
Beijing was ranked fourth in overall competitiveness of 200 major Chinese cities, behind Hong Kong, Taipei and Shanghai.
But the capital shot up to the second place on the mainland, overtaking southern powerhouses Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
The findings were released yesterday in an annual report on urban competitiveness published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
It was the first time the top government think tank included cities outside the mainland in its annual analysis, which has become a reference for city planners and investors since it was first released in 2003, according to senior researcher Ni Pengfei.
"We have broadened our research horizons ... to cater to readers' needs, so the rankings of some mainland cities slid this year, but that does not necessarily mean their absolute competitiveness declined," Ni said.
Ni and his 100-expert team factored in economic growth, market share, productivity, environmental resources, the level of technological innovation as well per-capita income to compile the list.
Except for economic growth, cities outside the mainland are more competitive than the mainland cities, according to the report.
The researchers discovered a clear geographical pattern to competitiveness the islands and the eastern seaboard were the strongest followed by the central areas and the western regions, Ni said.
Except for Beijing, Dalian and Shenyang, the mainland's most competitive cities are on the east coast while cities in central and western China rank low on the list.
But on the whole, the competitiveness of mainland cities has grown dramatically in recent years, a sharp contrast to Taiwan and Hong Kong.
For example, Ni said, in terms of economic growth which is a key gauging factor for competitiveness Chiayi City in Taiwan posted negative growth two years in a row, and Hong Kong ranked 198th among the 200 cities.
The report proposes that the government help East China bolster its global competitiveness, while supporting central and western cities build up their competition capacity.
Based on its survey of 6,000 residents in 60 cities, the report concludes that in the years ahead, Chinese cities should give priority to medicare, education, housing and transport to improve living conditions and build more harmonious communities.