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Provincial capital leveraging profound history and tradition on future growth

Updated: Aug 9, 2019 By Liang Kaiyan China Daily Print
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Chengdu has potential to be one of fastest-growing cities in the world in the future, officials said.

The capital city of Sichuan province has abundant culture and soft power, said Kelvin Watt, a regional managing director of Nielsen Sports.

Watt made his remarks at the 2019 World Cities Culture Tianfu Symposium, recently held in Chengdu.

Thanks to its proactive strategies on emerging industries, development and talent introduction, Watt said there's reason to believe that Chengdu will become one of the fastest-growing cities in the world during the next decade.

Marketing research firm Nielsen released a report on the World's New Growth Cities Charm Index on Cultural Creativity at the forum.

Chengdu remains among the top in terms of modernization, innovation and talent attractiveness, the report said.

The integration of Chengdu's profound history, its tradition and modernity has formed the city's distinctive culture, Watt said.

With its burgeoning economy, the city has continued to strengthen its cultural soft power and innovation capabilities in a bid to stand out on the world stage, he added.

As the starting point of the ancient Southern Silk Road, Chengdu has played an increasingly important role in the cultural exchanges under the Belt and Road Initiative, due to its profound, unique culture and growing global influence.

The Belt and Road World Culture Cities Center was established in Chengdu during the symposium's first session last year, providing a platform for exchanges and communication of distinctive cultures around the world.

The center has been working on fostering creative projects and plans to apply them to Chengdu and other cities involved the BRI, said John Howkins, a leading writer and strategist on the creative economy.

Chengdu's abundant culture makes the city play a key role in the BRI construction and helps it to open its culture to the world, Howkins said.

Francois Bedard, secretary-general of the World Centre of Excellence for Destinations, said Chengdu is a vibrant tourist destination with creativity.

From early on, it realized the importance of utilizing local culture to develop tourism, Bedard said.

The Sichuan cuisine and giant pandas are two staples of Chengdu and they can be adopted as a type of tourism resource to help the city get closer to the world, Bedard said.

He added that infrastructures including museums and theaters can also aid in increasing the charm of the city.

The World Cities Culture Forum is a global leadership on culture and has 38 member cities including London, New York, Rome, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.

Chengdu joined the forum in 2017, becoming the fifth Chinese city to take part after Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei.

Chengdu has launched direct flights between member cities, such as Paris, Moscow, Madrid, Sydney, Los Angeles and New York.

The city has also established a partnership with cities including Vienna, Moscow and Montreal, part of its efforts to foster cooperation with its counterparts in the forum.

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