Located on the Yangtze River in Sichuan province, Chongqing was once known for its isolation behind high mountains, which led Chiang Kai-shek to make it his wartime capital. In 1983, Chongqing became the country’s first inland port open to foreign trade and was authorized to experiment with liberal economic policies. With the construction of the Three Gorges Dam nearby, Chongqing was named a “direct city” in 1997, joining Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai in independence from provincial government. Under its aggressive and popular Mayor Bo ilai, the city has grown explosively since then. In 1998, its GDP was $21 billion; by 2009, it had grown fourfold to $86bn, twice the growth rate of China as a whole. Fully 90% of the industrial goods manufactured there are sold in China. The city is investing heavily in its future by expanding rail lines, highways, the airport and digital infrastructure. Hewlett-Packard has a call center in Chongqing and plans a laptop factory. Chongqing attracts more direct foreign investment than any other city in central or western China - $2.7 billion in 2008 alone.

Population: 32,000,000


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