China’s Urban Boom — (Part 14) Building A Century in Fifteen Years

CITIES & THE WEALTH OF NATIONS

Part 14, two cities: Xiamen & Xi’an

Xiamen, China — With a population of 3 million, Xiamen is a coastal city in southeastern China and became one of China’s earliest Special Economic Zones in the 1980s. It has been ranked as China’s second “most suitable city for living.” Xiamen’s primary economic activities include fishing, shipbuilding, food processing, tanning, textiles, machine tool manufacturing, chemical industries, telecommunications, and financial services. By Chinese standards, Xiamen has highly developed banking services. The city benefits particularly from investment capital from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Over the last twenty years, Xiamen’s economic growth rate has ranged between 11% to 20% annually.

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Xi’an, China — With a populate of nearly 10 million, Xi’an is located in central China and one of China’s oldest cities, with more than 3,100 years of history. It is home to the famed “Terra-cotta Army” found under the Great Pyramid of China. Since the 1990s, as part of the economic revival of interior China, the city of Xi’an has re-emerged as an important cultural, industrial and educational center, with facilities for research and development, national security, and China’s growing space exploration program. Xi’an, as a second-tier city after those such as Beijing and Shanghai, has attracted growth in the Business Process Outsourcing field. The local government is using tax and other incentives to encourage companies and professionals to relocate there.

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