(Yicai Global) Jan. 4 -- Ningbo, the second-largest city in China's eastern province of Zhejiang, and two other cities believe they racked up over CNY1 trillion (USD146 billion) in gross domestic product last year, possibly taking the number of Chinese cities to reach the landmark figure to 1.
Hangzhou's GDP grew 7 percent last year while municipal fiscal income rose to CNY250 billion, according to estimates disclosed by the local government at an economic work conference yesterday. Foshan in the south and Zhenghou in the Henan province also forecast that they surpassed the milestone in 2018.
Ningbo, also the world's fourth largest port, is no match for neighboring Shanghai and Hangzhou in terms of service provision or industrial transformation, Ding Changfa, an associate professor of economics at Xiamen University, told Yicai Global. The city should take a different development direction as them, such as by focusing on high-end manufacturing, he added, suggesting it could use Shanghai's technology, talent and other resources to improve.
The city's GDP was just CNY2 billion (USD291 million) before China began its economic reform 40 years ago. It has developed quickly thanks to its strategic location in the Yangtze River Delta region, which includes five cities that already have economies worth over CNY1 trillion, but has failed to keep up with its peers after its import and export trade growth slowed in recent years.
Editor: James Boynton