Beijing is the political and cultural center of China. It is also the international communication and science and technology innovation center. In 2016, the Beijing municipal regional GDP totaled 2.49 trillion yuan ($377.31 billion). Beijing’s economic development presents the typical characteristics of a capital city’s economy, primarily embodied in the following five aspects:
The first is the headquarter economy. Beijing, enjoying the advantages of being the capital, is home to many headquarters, helping promote the development of enterprises in the city.
The added value of the new economy achieved 813.24 billion yuan ($ 123.24 billion), an increase of 10.1 percent over the previous year, accounting for 32.7 percent of the city's GDP, an increase of 0.6 percent over the previous year.
The second is the service economy. For many years, the size of Beijing's service industry has ranked on top among China’s the big cities. The 2016 added value of the tertiary industry in Beijing totaled 1.10 trillion yuan ($ 166.68 billion), with an annual increase of 7.1 percent. In 2016, the city invested 64.38 billion yuan ($ 9.75 billion) in public services, accounting for 26.8 percent of the annual total investment.
The third is the open economy. Beijing maintains economic and trade exchanges with more than 200 countries and regions. In 2016, Beijing’s total import and export value reached 1.86 trillion yuan ($ 281.85 billion), a decrease of 6.1 percent over the previous year.
Forth is the consumer economy. The annual total market consumption achieved 1.99 trillion yuan ($ 301.83 billion), an increase of 8.1 percent over the previous year, among which the social total retail sales of consumer goods is 1.10 trillion yuan ($ 166.67 billion), with an increase of 6.5 percent. The market size in Beijing is large and the city plays an exemplary and motivating role in promoting consumption, therefore Beijing becomes many enterprises’ first choice in establishing their brand image.
Fifth is the innovative economy. In 2016, newly established enterprises in Beijing reached 222,000, an increase of 9.4 percent compared to the previous year. Among them, the newly established science and technology enterprises reached 80,000, an annual increase of 23.2 percent, accounting for 36.2 percent of all the newly established enterprises in Beijing. The gross annual income of Zhongguancun Self-dependent Innovation Demonstration Area totaled 4.57 trillion yuan ($ 692.85 billion), an increase of 12 percent over the previous year, among which the technical income was 711.53 billion yuan ($ 107.81 billion), seeing an annual increase of 7.4 percent. In terms of cultural innovation, the annual added value of cultural creativity industry totaled 357.05 billion yuan ($ 54.10 billion), an increase of 12.3 percent over the previous year.
Beijing is the capital of China, the second largest economy in the globe and the world largest economy in terms of trade volume. Compared to other cities in China, Beijing holds the following six competitive advantages:
First, it is the political center of China. As the country's political center, Beijing is China’s decision-making center and the seat of the central government. All the major political and economic decisions are made in Beijing. Therefore, investing and setting up businesses in Beijing facilitate the investors and enterprises from both home and abroad to strengthen their interaction with the central government in order to get important policy information, preferential policies and information on government procurement and financial support.
Second, it enjoys advantage on education, science and technology, culture and health services. These aspects are the core components of the comprehensive competitiveness, business prosperity and the quality of life in a country, a region or a city. Beijing is the most developed city in China in regards to these aspects, having 58 universities and 81 scientific research institutes that cultivate postgraduates as well as 10,637 health agencies under which there are 265,000 health workers.
Third, it is a city filled with high-end talents. Talent resource is the most important resource and human capital is the foremost capital. Top talents are the central driving force of economic and social development. Beijing is home to more than half of China’s academicians of the academies of sciences and academies of engineering and has over 292,000 students who are currently studying in graduate schools. In 2016, the universities and research institutes in Beijing recruited a total of 97,000 graduate students. The rich high-end talent resource in Beijing provides strong intellectual support for the development of enterprises.
Forth, it is the capital of financial resources. Beijing is China's financial decision-making, supervision and capital settlement center. China's biggest banks, insurance companies, securities firms, funds and investment companies are all headquartered in Beijing. The total amount of financial assets in Beijing heads the Chinese cities, accounting for nearly half of the country’s total number.
Fifth, it has superior infrastructure. Beijing, for the city’s development, always prioritizes the constructions of infrastructure. Beijing has been in the forefront of China in regards to infrastructure construction of roads, railways, communication, electricity, gas, science and the construction of technology, education, culture, health, and sports facilities.
Sixth, it is a safe city. Beijing attaches great importance to security, constantly improving social governance, production safety and market supervision, which make it a city with top-notch social security and social order. Beijing has also paid attention to strengthening the food and drug safety regulations. It leads the nation in food safety and safely supply of water, electricity, gas and heat.