More Location Rankings

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Another year – and other survey of investment locations. I reported on a World Bank study last month, in which 6 “golden” and 13 “silver” cities for investment were identified:

    • “Golden cities”: Hangzhou, Qingdao, Shaoxing, Suzhou, Xiamen, and Yantai.

    • “Silver” cities: Beijing, Dalian, Dongguan, Foshan, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Jiangmen, Ningbo, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Weihai and Zhuhai.

Now the national Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has published its own list of the 100 top cities with the best environment for foreign investment. Beijing was the winner, followed by Tianjin and Shenyang (which may surprise some – but I have not had a chance to review the criteria, so can’t really comment). Xinhua notes that the east still leads the pack, as might be expected:

    “Seventy-one of the top 100 cities are eastern cities, with Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and the southern Shenzhen and Guangzhou ranking in the top ten.

    China’s central region has 16 cities in the top 100, while the western region has 13”.

All these lists are very well, and may be of some use in narrowing the field – and to help remind people that there is more to China than Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. It may even make aspirational local governments more competitive in their provision of services.

A decision to locate is always going to depend on a number of factors that are unique to the company in question. In the past however these factors were often based on a family relationship, a chance meeting, or a “no-brainer” decision to go somewhere like Beijing or Shanghai. Now, with rising costs in developed cities, ever more competition, and the emergence of the previously mysterious “secondary” cities, the process is becoming increasingly scientific, with clients wanting analysis of infrastructure, services, staff availability, office, apartment and utility costs and other issues.

Maybe Shenyang is due another visit…or, as China Law Blog suggests, maybe NBS is being less than objecetive.

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