Beijing, located in northern China, is the most populous capital city in the world and one of the world's leading economic, political, financial and business centers.
With a total population of almost 22.5 million (almost as large as Australia's) in an area of 16,800 square kilometers, Beijing is China's second largest city after Shanghai. Thirty-eight percent of the city is flat and the remainder is mountainous.
Beijing has a semi-humid continental climate with hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. The four seasons are very distinct. In January, the coldest month, the average temperature is 1.2 C while in July, the hottest month, the average temperature is 31 C.
Combining modern and traditional architecture, Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world with a wealth of historical sites and a unique collection of arts, cuisine, and other cultural attractions.
Natural resources include soil, petroleum, gas, minerals, coal, non-ferrous metals and geothermal resources.
Home to the headquarters of most of China's largest state-owned companies and the largest number of Fortune Global 500 companies in one city in the world, Beijing has the most developed and prosperous economy in China, which attracts investors from all around the world.
In 2017, Beijing's GDP exceeded 2.8 trillion yuan ($407.75 billion) with 6.7 percent annual growth. The tertiary sector (service) plays a major part in the city's economy, accounting for 80.6 percent of GDP, followed by the secondary sector (manufacturing, construction) at 19 percent and the primary sector (agriculture, mining) at 0.4 percent.
The service sector is broadly diversified into financial, information technology, and scientific research & technical areas remaining its three biggest components, at 16.6 percent, 11.3 percent, and 10.2 percent of the GDP respectively.
Finance service industry
As Beijing becomes one of the most important international financial centers in China, the finance service industry is one of its most important. By the end of 2017, the added value of the industry totaled 463 billion, accounting for 17 percent of the city's GDP, the highest percentage of any Chinese city.
Beijing's Central Business District (CBD), located in Chaoyang District, is home to more than 20,000 enterprises, 1,000 financial service providers and leading media organizations. Often referred to as Beijing's Wall Street, the CBD attracts investments from many international companies with its good investment environment, convenient transportation and a high-speed telecommunications system. More than 150 Fortune companies including Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and Samsung are located in the CBD.
In the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index, Beijing was ranked the 16th most competitive financial center in the world and sixth most competitive in Asia (after Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Osaka).
Culture & creative industry
As one of the oldest cities in the world, Beijing boasts a long history and rich cultural heritage. Its cultural and creative industry has been an important pillar of the capital economy and a new growth point since 2006. In 2017 the value-added output of the cultural and creative industry hit 390.8 billion yuan, a year-on- year increase of 9.2 percent and accounting for 14 percent of Beijing's GDP; its total revenue exceeded 1.36 trillion yuan.
The China (Beijing) International Cultural and Creative Industry Expo, an annual event, has developed into an important platform for sharing resources of cultural and creative industries and unleashing the vitality of industrial innovation.
Of the country's 58 listed cultural and creative firms, Beijing has 21, with a total market value of more than 300 billion yuan.
Information technology industry
Over the years, Beijing has been working vigorously to enhance scientific and technological innovation.
Zhongguancun, a technology hub in Haidian district dubbed "China's Silicon Valley", continues to be a major center in electronics and computer-related industries. It leads the world in various hi-tech areas, including artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and the internet of things. Many world-renowned technology companies have built their Chinese headquarters and research centers in Zhongguancun Technology Park, such as Google, Intel, AMD, Oracle Corporation, Motorola, MySpace, Sony, Solstice, and Ericsson.
In 2017, the added value of the industry accounted for 11.3 percent of the city's GDP.
Scientific research industry
Beijing's strengths in human capital and scientific research have helped its high-tech sector develop. Beijing has the largest number of and the most prestigious institutions of higher education and scientific research in the country. In 2017, Beijing's total R&D expenditure amounted to 159.5 billion yuan, up 7.5 percent year-on-year, accounting for 5.7 percent of its GDP.
Beijing's tourist industry has grown rapidly to become an important sector of the city's economy, thanks to the historical and cultural attractions of the central city itself and those found in outlying areas, including the Great Wall, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven. In 2017, the city welcomed over 297 million tourists which generated revenue of 54.69 billion yuan, an increase of 8.9 percent year-on-year, making tourism one of the most important sectors in the development of the city's economy.
Beijing's economy ranks among the most developed and prosperous in China. In 2017, its GDP reached 2.8 trillion yuan with an annual increase of 6.7 percent. As the capital of the second largest economy in the globe, Beijing with its distinctive advantages is becoming increasingly attractive to overseas investment.
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 makes it easier for investors and enterprises from both home and abroad to get information about preferential policies or government procurement and financial support.
Beijing boasts the nation's largest pool of talent resources, which is the driving force of its economic prosperity and sustained development. In Beijing, there are 58 universities and 81 scientific research institutes that cultivate postgraduates as well as 10,637 health agencies employing 265,000 health workers.
Beijing's strengths in human capital and scientific research have helped the development of its high-tech sector. The city has the largest number of and the most prestigious institutions of higher education and scientific research in the country. In 2017, 388,000 people were employed in R&D, an increase of 3.9 percent.
Zhongguancun, dubbed "China's Silicon Valley", is the heartland of the country's hi-tech industry, housing numerous top-notch technologists, mentors, entrepreneurs, and several unicorn-hopeful startups.
Robust government support
Beijing is increasingly becoming known for its innovative entrepreneurs and high-growth startup companies. In 2017, the central government announced the launch of a one million dollar startup fund in Beijing to directly support the entrepreneurship ecosystem. There are also tax cuts, administrative subsidies and R&D supports for startups.
1. Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau
Address: 3rd and 4th floor, Building F, Fuhua Building, No 8 North Chaoyangmen Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
2. Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce
Address: No 6 Building, No 2 West Hengdaogou Street, Fengtai District, Beijing
Website: http://sww.beijing.gov.cn/ (Chinese)
3. Beijing Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment
Address: Room 411, Building F, Fuhua Building, No 8 North Chaoyangmen Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Website: http://www.baefi.com.cn/eindex.php (Chinese)
4. Beijing Economic-Technological Development Zone
Tel: +86 10 67881188
Address: No 15 Middle Ronghua Road, Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone
Website: http://kfqgw.beijing.gov.cn (Chinese)