City a global metropolis: Report

The per capita GDP of Beijing is forecast to exceed $10,000 this year, meaning the capital will be a developed international metropolis, leading economists said yesterday.

A report written by three economists with the research office of the Party#s Beijing municipal committee said the city#s economy would grow by more than 10 percent this year, beating the city#s target of 9 percent, to 1.1 trillion yuan.

Based on the report published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the per capita GDP in Beijing is up from $9,075 in 2008.

"Based on international experience, we can see Beijing is growing from a medium-developed city to an international metropolis," Hu Xuefeng, deputy director of the research office of the Party#s Beijing municipal committee, said.

According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report in November, Beijing ranked 38th among world cities, behind Istanbul (34th) but ahead of Manila (40th). Tokyo and New York topped the list with more than $15,000 per capita GDP. Shanghai, the best performing Chinese city on the mainland, ranked 25th.

It predicted Beijing would rise to 17th by 2025, while Shanghai would rise to ninth.

However, Hu said that according to a theory by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, when a city#s per capita GDP is below $10,000, the growth is mainly resource-driven, but when it reaches $10,000, the city#s growth relies more on knowledge and innovation.

In 2009, Beijing#s economic growth has been largely driven by consumption, especially by apartment, car, and electronic appliance sales.

Retail sales in Beijing reached 432.9 billion yuan in the first 10 months of 2009, growing 17 percent year-on-year and continuing to lead the nation, the Beijing municipal commission of commerce said.

Consumer spending contributed to almost a half of Beijing#s GDP, the commission said. Beijing beat Shanghai to become the largest retail market in China last year, the commission said.

In the first half, more than 131 overseas-invested retail shops opened in Beijing, one third of the total retail stores approved by the government, Beijing Daily reported.