Betting on the urban powerhouses of the next decade, the New York’s, Mumbai’s and Shanghai’s of the future, Forbes Magazine, lists 20 of the World’s Fastest-Growing Cities including within it eight cities from China and India. According to the list, Chengdu stands as the fastest growing city from China, followed by Chongqing at number two, Suzhou at eight, and Nanjing at 17. Representatives from India include, Ahmedabad ranked third, Chennai tenth and Bangalore fifteenth. The cities are featured in the list not only for their pace of economic activity, but also because they have risen from the results of liberalization and globalization, and are significantly contributing to jobs, manufacturing and improving social welfare of their citizens. Below Inchin Closer takes a brief look at these fastest growing cities to uncover what makes them tick and why they’re going to be the next buzzing business centers.
Chengdu: Once China’s second largest commercial city, the western city of Chengdu is as vibrant as its food is spicy. Rich in natural resources, blessed with fertile soil and educated citizens, the city is today an important transportation hub and a center of communication, transportation and finance. Modern day Chengdu is abuzz with new construction, including an increasing concentration of high-tech companies, including Dell and Cisco. New plane, road and rail connections are tying the city to both coastal China and the rest of the world.
Chongqing: The largest and youngest of China’s four provincial municipalities and the focus of the Central governments China Western Development Policy, last year alone, the city’s GDP expanded at almost twice the rate of China as a whole. Massive public works such as the construction of overhead and surface commuter lines are currently underway. The city has also benefitted financially as the upstream gateway to the Three Gorges Dam project.
Suzhou: Known as the Venice of China, Suzhou located just 75 kilometers outside supersonic Shanghai, also boasts several U.N. World Heritage Gardens. Famous for its silk production and a recognized center of the light industry, Suzhou alone accounts for one-fifith of Jiangsu’s GDP. Today Suzhou is an international high-tech production hub, as well as manufacturing base for products including steel, chemicals, paper, machine tools and motor vehicles.
Nanjing: The former Southern capital and modern day capital of Jiangsu province on China’s Eastern seaboard, Nanjing is renowned to produce world class talent at the Nanjing University. In recent times, Nanjing has drawn huge construction projects to the city, is developing a transport hub and is rapidly growing its service sector.
Ahmedabad: With per-capita incomes almost twice times the national average, India’s seventh largest city has witnessed drastic changes over the past few years. Capital of currently one of the most dynamic and market friendly states in India, Ahmedabad, backed by a pro development government has transformed from a sleepy textile town to a buzzing hub for international trade, diamonds and manufacturing.
Chennai: Formerly known as Madras, Chennai, located in South-east India is booming thanks to a vibrant electronics, automobile and entertainment industry. Having already provided the maximum number of jobs in India, outside Mumbai and Delhi – 100,000, Chennai is basking in attracting droves of foreign capital and having one of the fastest growing GDP’s in the country.
Bangalore: One of India’s megapolis’s, along with Chennai, Bangalore, located in Southern India has doubled its population in the last 15 years to seven million and is projected by the U.N. to reach 9.5 million by 2025. Home to India’s tech giants – Wipro and Infosys as well as several international companies – Dell, Intel and Cisco, the garden city, with a relaxed pub culture, recently built a second airport and is undergoing massive infrastructural developments.