Ningbo attracts 530,000 new residents in two years
Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang province, has emerged as one of the top destinations for global talent.
The city reported a permanent resident population of 8.542 million at the end of 2019, 340,000 more than the previous year.
It ranked fourth nationwide in terms of population increase, behind only Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou.
A total of 530,000 people moved to the city in 2018 and 2019, a number equivalent to the permanent population of the city’s Xiangshan county.
The rapid growth can be attributed to the city's efforts to attract global talent.
Chen Han, an entrepreneur in Ningbo, is one such talent.
Chen began working for an enterprise in Hangzhou after acquiring a master's degree in environmental engineering from Imperial College London in 2012.
In 2017, she quit her job to start her own business, and in 2019, she opened three companies in Ningbo, which she described as being “full of opportunities”.
Chen pursued an undergraduate degree at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo and has kept a close eye on the city's development since then.
Optimistic about Ningbo's development prospects, Chen said the city has seen robust growth in its emerging industries and in the manufacturing sector in recent years.
In 2018, Ningbo's gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded one trillion yuan ($144.9 billion).
Hu Tuo, a local economic researcher, noted that the establishment of the Qianwan New District last year will contribute to population growth in Cixi, a county-level city in Ningbo.
By 2035, Ningbo aims to build the district into a world-class manufacturing center and a demonstration zone for the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region.
Liu Zongliang, chairman of Zhejiang Jinye Auto Parts Co Ltd, said the district will be one of the best places in Zhejiang for the development of the bay area economy, along with Shanghai, as it will only take half an hour to travel between the two places.
He also revealed that the company has established a subsidiary in the district and is planning to relocate its headquarters to Ningbo.
In 2019, the urbanization rate of Ningbo was 73.6 percent, far higher than the national level of 60.6 percent.
Meanwhile, the local government's policies have also made the city more appealing to talent than other domestic cities.
In recent days, Ningbo has rolled out a series of measures to help local enterprises resume production.
As of February 26, all industrial enterprises above designated size had resumed production in the city.
As of March 5, roughly 35,000 industrial enterprises in Ningbo included in the power monitoring system had returned to work, accounting for more than 90 percent of the city's total. This is three percentage points higher than the provincial average.