Asia’s International Trading and Finance Centres
Edited by François Gipouloux
Chapter 13: China’s Emerging Financial Centers: Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong
13. China’s emerging financial centers: Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong1 Simon X.B. Zhao, Zhang Li and Christopher J. Smith INTRODUCTION China’s development in the past two decades has demonstrated a growing interaction with the global economy and the transformation of its spatial economy. At the regional level, there is a polarizing tendency of the national economy in certain city-regions along the Pacific coast, notably the Pearl River Delta region (PRD) in southern China, the Yangtze River Delta region (YRD) in southeastern China and the Bohai Rim region (BRR) in northern China. By 2009, these three regions accounted for 41.5 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP), 76.7 percent of the country’s foreign trade, and 90.5 percent of China’s total inward foreign direct investment (FDI).2 At the city level, several mega-cities, especially Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, are globalizing, undergoing gradual but significant functional transformation from a manufacturingbased economy to a service-based economy. This trend has been supported by the increasing weight of tertiary industry in those regions’ GDP composition. Associated with the making of Chinese global cities is the competition for the status of a national financial center. The cities that are top in the Chinese roster of urban competitiveness like Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have sought such status as one of their developmental goals.3 With the end of the grace period it was given on WTO entry, China’s banking and financial industry reached a new 1 The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support...
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