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European Instiute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics EIJS Working Papers Series

No 239:
INNOVATIVE CITY IN WEST CHINA CHONGQING

Jon Sigurdson () and Krystyna Palonka ()

Abstract: This working paper offers insights on science and technology in China with supporting official and interview data. The paper, as evidenced from the title, is indicating the future role of Chongqing and its evolution primarily focusing on the period of rapid development of the Municipality after Chongqing became a political entity on the same level as provinces of China. This has coincided with the planning, construction and completion of the Three Gorges Dam Project involving the resettlement of 1,000,000 people – most them coming to the rural areas Chongqing Municipality. Three major sub-themes are highlighted. First, the city played important role during more than 2000 years of its history (in 1981, for example it became first inland port in China open for foreign commerce). In the XX century Chongqing was national capital during the Second World War and the Japanese invasion (Nationalists government). Since then it enjoyed higher political status and economic independence than any other city of the same size in whole western China. Second, the municipality’s geographical position and demographic condition makes it quite unique in West China. It has a population of 31 million, an area of 82 square km, a population density of 379 persons per km2 and a location at the upper reaches of Chang (Yangtze) River. This makes it the gate of Southwest China. Third, Chongqing has a strong basic multi-faced economy in the region. Central investment since the 1950s has assisted the development of a relatively strong modern industrial base in the city. Despite the post-Mao reform era’s impact on social and economic disparities as between the coastal areas and the west, Chongqing remains one of the China’s strongest city economies. Its industrial output value ranked 11th among the 35 biggest city economies in China in 2000, though it ranked behind the top ten most industrialized coastal cities, all of which had attracted much greater foreign investment during the reform era. The campaign to Open up the West provides Chongqing with the opportunity to act as the growth pole for a number of less industrialized provincial-level units in north-west and south-west China. Fourth, the initiatives by central authorities and the extraordinary task of Three Gorges Dam project required among other great tasks also relocation of over 1,2 million people, the rebuilding of two cities, eleven county towns and one hundred sixteen townships from the site of Three Gorges Dam water reservoir. Until 2005 there were already almost one million residents resettled. Less than 20 per cent moved outside Chongqing municipality and the majority was to be accommodated within the region of Chongqing Municipality.

Keywords: Regional development; clusters; Regional innovation System (RIS); Development block; competence block; technology system; High Technology Parks; Overview of Science and Technology; FDI; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: I18; I23; L53; O31; O32; R58; (follow links to similar papers)

34 pages, February 15, 2008

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