Shenzhen ranked first among China's top 100 foreign trade cities for 2022, according to a list recently released by an information platform under the General Administration of Customs. Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhuhai, and Foshan secured the fifth, eighth, ninth, and twelfth positions respectively.
The list shows that the city rankings are closely related to local economic strength. East China is still leading in the number of top 100 cities by comprehensive foreign trade competitiveness, with 60 cities on the list in 2022, up one over 2021. Notably, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Suzhou remained the top three for two consecutive years and the top 10 cities are all in the eastern region. Twenty-six cities in the central region entered the list, recording an increase of three over 2021, with Wuhan ranking 14th, up 3 places. Ten cities in the western region and four cities in the northeastern region made it to the list, showing a decline of over 2021 for both regions, with Xi'an and Dalian as the highest ranking at 20th and 42nd, respectively.
In 2022, among the top 20 cities in China in terms of the value of foreign trade, 14 cities made it to the top 20 cities in comprehensive foreign trade competitiveness, down by two over 2021. This indicates a somewhat weakened role of scale and volume supporting the foreign trade competitiveness of cities. The average growth rate of the import and export values of the top 100 foreign trade cities was 7.1% in 2022, which is lower than the national overall foreign trade growth rate. This shows that the pattern of "the strong will always be strong" in foreign trade of cities is changing.
In recent years, China has been improving its high-quality modern circulation system, enabling more convenient circulation of factors, and cities are shifting more attention to "soft factors" such as policies, funding, ports, and talents in the competitive landscape of foreign trade. In the indicator system of foreign trade competitiveness, the "soft factors" are mostly reflected in the potential competitiveness spectrum, such as the number of open ports and platforms, the number of newly registered foreign trade enterprises, and realized FDI. In 2022, the number of cities ranking among the top 20 in terms of both foreign trade potential and comprehensive competitiveness reached 13.
(Source: Shenzhen Special Zone Daily)